- Museum number
- Object: Ernest Mansveld Comes Marchio Castelli Novi etc. Maximi Exercitus Dux etc
Portrait of Ernest, Count of Mansfeld, head and shoulders in an oval, wearing a lace ruff. 1623
- Production date
Height: 208 millimetres
Width: 149 millimetres
- Curator's comments
- (Text from Antony Griffiths, 'The Print in Stuart Britain', BM 1998, cat.20)
Simon made two portrait engravings in 1622/3 of Mansfeld and Christian of Brunswick, the two military champions of the Protestant cause at the time. The German general Count Mansfeld had commanded the forces of Frederick and Elizabeth of Bohemia at the Battle of the White Mountain and afterwards. In October 1622 he and Christian of Brunswick had jointly raised the Spanish siege of Bergen-op-Zoom on behalf of the Dutch States-General. The engraving of the Duke of Brunswick of 1622 was made from a painting by Paul Moreelse, made three years earlier in 1619 (for which see 'Dawn of the Golden Age', Amsterdam Rijksmuseum 1993, cat.264). The portrait of Mansfeld of 1623 states that it was made from life. This implies that Simon was by then on the Continent, as Mansfeld did not come to England to command an English expeditionary force for the relief of Frederick until April 1624.
Simon had got caught up in these years in high international politics, and had moved far away from the prosaic world of London print publishers. This is physically demonstrated by the larger format of these prints. His one dated print of 1624 (Hollstein 7) is a large and complicated political allegory published with a privilege from the United Provinces that stands far apart from anything else he ever made. In 1625 he moved to Copenhagen with an appointment as court engraver to Christian IV, who in precisely that year had emerged as the champion of the Protestant cause in the north, having been active in the support of Mansfeld in Germany since May 1625. By the Treaty of The Hague in December 1625 he had been promised an English subsidy of £360,000 a year, which would have been a colossal sum if it had ever been paid. In 1625 Denmark must have seemed the new centre of the Protestant world, an illusion that was to be shattered by Christian's defeat at Lutter the following year.
Simon's portrait of Christian of Brunswick was later pirated for Humble by John Payne, who added a new surround (Hind III 9.7). A working proof of this plate is in the Rijksmuseum (illustrated Hollstein 81.I).
- Not on display
- Acquisition date
- Prints and Drawings
- Registration number