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The Artist Louis Braun (2)

To carry out his panorama commissions Braun built a studio the shape and size of a panorama rotunda on the Theresienhöhe in Munich in the 1880s. He employed an entire team of painters and assistants. Before executing the panoramas he would visit the sites and, like a modern-day reporter, obtain all the background information he could from officers, soldiers and other eye-witnesses. His panoramas are picture stories, their depictions providing the utmost authenticity. Braun always chose the moment in a battle that allowed the onlooker to see who was about to carry the day. This is also the case with the Battle of Murten.

The Battle of Murten was the last of eight large-scale panoramas to be painted by Louis Braun between 1880 and 1894. Five portrayed battles from the Franco-Prussian War of 1870/71; another, the quelling of an uprising in the German colony of the Cameroons. Only the last two focused on historical events from centuries past, namely the Battle of Liège (1632) and the Battle of Murten (1476).

Louis Braun’s passion for equine painting had been kindled by his brother Reinhold, himself a painter of horses. It was a passion Louis would nurture throughout his artistic career. The horses in the Panorama of the Battle of Murten are particularly striking and depicted in every conceivable position; they are arguably the painting’s most outstanding feature.

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