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Technical Execution (2)

To document the battle, Braun personally travelled to Murten, where he made sketches and painted. He went through archives, libraries, arsenals and museums to find chronicles, battle reports and depictions, contemporary weapons, standards and costumes, and he carried out intensive research on all these subjects. Braun also sent his colleague, the landscape artist Berninger, to Murten to make landscape studies, and he employed a photographer to take pictures of the town and its surroundings. He had tailors make soldiers’ costumes and hired living models to recreate scenes from the battle.

After determining the horizon line and recreating the landscape and settlements as authentically as possible, he composed the military positions, units, groups and individual figures of the Battle into a single picture. Once this model was created, he had it approved by his customers, along with any conceptual changes.

The definitive surface for the painting is comprised of a special canvas 3.55 m in width, its sections sewn together vertically. The fabric consists of pure flax fibres in a panama weave (double-guided weft and warp threads). It was sewn together to the required size and delivered to the studio rolled up on a wooden frame. The application of the primer created a hyperboloid, or convex shape, caused by the wet canvas shrinking and the permanent mounting of the fabric along the top and bottom edges. The painting and lighting of the canvas had to take account of this particular shape.

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