Art of War
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223 pages

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Over the course of history, many wars have changed the political and cultural landscape of our world. While these events are defined by their upheaval and violence, they frequently contribute to the formation of the identity of entire generations or groups of people, and thus have significant cultural effects. Despite the physical and emotional destruction that occurs during these turbulent periods, they have inspired prolific artistic creation. In the wake of traumatic events over the centuries, a myriad of artists have produced works that immortalise the most dramatic moments of these wars in order to establish them in history forever.
This book presents beautiful images depicting famous battles and war scenes, accompanied by the iconic text of the legendary Chinese military strategist Sun Tzu, as well as texts documenting notable moments of different wars, each written by well-known writers. From Uccello’s The Battle of San Romano to Picasso’s Guernica, this work offers a captivating look at artworks inspired by war and what they reveal about humanity’s history.



Publié par
Date de parution 15 septembre 2015
Nombre de lectures 11
EAN13 9781783107797
Langue English
Poids de l'ouvrage 1 Mo

Informations légales : prix de location à la page 0,0598€. Cette information est donnée uniquement à titre indicatif conformément à la législation en vigueur.


Victoria Charles and Sun Tzu

Baseline Co. Ltd
61A-63A Vo Van Tan Street
4 th Floor
District 3, Ho Chi Minh City

Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data
© Confidential Concepts, worldwide, USA
© Parkstone Press International, New York, USA
Image Bar

© Dawn at the Alamo, CHA 1989.81
Courtesy State Preservation Board, Austin, Texas ( 1 , 2 )
© Estate of Pablo Picasso/
Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York, USA
© Crown copyright, Imperial War Museum, London;
Q3545, Q3014, Q3990 ( 1 , 2 , 3 )
© Salvador Dalí, Gala Salvador Dalí Foundation/
Artists Rights Society, New York, USA

Courtesy of Conseil Régional de Basse-Normandie/ National Archives USA
( 1 , 2 , 3 , 4 , 5 , 6 , 7 , 8 , 9 , 10 )

All rights reserved.
No part of this publication may be reproduced or adapted without the permission of the copyright holder, throughout the world. Unless otherwise specified, copyright on the works reproduced lies with the respective photographers, artists, heirs or estates. Despite intensive research, it has not always been possible to establish copyright ownership. Where this is the case, we would appreciate notification.

ISBN: 978-1-78310-779-7
Victoria Charles and Sun Tzu

Art of War

Millennia of War
Portraying War in Art
The Artists of War
The Art of Modern Warfare
Dark to Middle Ages
Early Modern Age and Wars for European Dominance
The Napoleonic Wars
Other Conflicts in the 19 th Century
The World Wars
Mythological Battles
The Trojan War
Battle of the Amazons
The Rape of the Sabine Women
Antiquity to Christianisation of the Roman Empire
The Victory Stele of Naram-Sin of Akkad
Battle of Kadesh
Battle of Marathon
Battle of Thermopylae
Battle of Mantinea
The Campaigns of Alexander the Great
Battle of the Granicus River
Battle of Issus
Battle of Arbela (Battle of Gaugamela)
Battle of Heraclea
Battle of Cannae
Battle of Zama
Siege and Fall of Carthage
Battle of Alesia
Battle of Teutoburg Forest
Battle of Milvian Bridge
Dark and Middle Ages
Battle of Tolbiac
Battle of Tours
Battle of Roncevaux Pass
Siege of Paris
Battle of Hastings
The Crusades
Siege of Jerusalem
Battle of Hattin
Sieges of Zara and Constantinople
Heiji Rebellion
Battle of Ichi-no-Tani
Battle of Bouvines
Battle of Taillebourg
Battle of Lake Peipus (Battle of the Ice)
Battle of Ain Jalut
Battle of Bannockburn
Battle of Cassel
Battle of Crécy
Battle of Agincourt
Siege of Orléans
Battle of San Romano
Battle of Anghiari
Siege and Fall of Constantinople
Battle of Castillon
Early Modern Age to Wars for European Dominance
Battle of Nancy
Battle of Fornovo
Battle of Garigliano
Siege of Kufstein
Battle of Marignano
Siege and Fall of Tenochtitlan
Battle of Pavia
Battle of Kawanakajima
St Bartholomew’s Day Massacre
Battle of Arques
Siege of Breda
Battle of Nördlingen
Battle of Lens
Battle of the Dunes (Battle of Dunkirk)
Battle of Tournai
Storming of Valenciennes
Battle of Vienna
Battle of Leuze
Battle of Poltava
Battle of Denain
Battle of Fontenoy
Battle of Lauffeld
Battle of Bunker Hill
Battles of Saratoga
Siege of Yorktown
Battle of Valmy
Battle of Fleurus
The Napoleonic Wars
Battle of Arcole
Battle of Rivoli
Alexander Suvorov’s Italian and Swiss Campaign
Battle of the Pyramids
Battle of Aboukir
Battle of Hohenlinden
Battle of Friedland
The Third of May 1808
Battle of Wagram
Battle of Borodino
Battle of Leipzig
Battle of Waterloo
C onflicts of the 19 th Century
Third Siege of Missolonghi
Battle of the Alamo
Battle of the Smala
Battle of Montebello
Battle of Balaclava
Battle of Solferino
Battle of Gettysburg
Siege of Vicksburg
Battle of Atlanta
Battle of Sadowa (Battle of Königgrätz)
Battle of Gravelotte
Battle of Little Big Horn
Battle of Omdurman
Boxer Rebellion
Russo-Japanese War
T he World Wars
First World War
The Second World War
War and Abstraction
Knight, Death, and the Devil
Battle of Cascina
The Charge of the Lancers
The Bombing of Guernica
Édouard Detaille , Attack of French Hussars at Gravelotte, 16 August 1870 , 1890.
Oil on canvas, 480 x 320 cm .
Musée de l ’ Armée, Paris.

“The art of war” – the first association people have with this term, has, not surprisingly, nothing to do with art but everything to do with war: the ancient military treatise The Art of War . Generally attributed to Chinese general Sun Tzu (depending on transliteration also Sun Wu or Sunzi), the book was written in feudal China, roughly 400 to 200 years before Christ. On a side note, depending on the scholarly point of view, the writings – which already had garnered a certain reputation by the time of the so-called Warring States Period – were either written by Sun Tzu alone, with minor annotations after his death from other military thinkers, or alternatively modified and co-written by other Chinese military strategists as well. Whichever way, they provide a broad collection of proverbs concerning key aspects of warfare. Infused with Taoist philosophy, the treatise does not only provide pragmatic advice on such things as military spending or marching order, but is first and foremost meant as educative literature for the ambitious leader. Interestingly enough it does not cover all aspects of warfare in precise detail, as a first-time reader might expect. Instead, many of these thematically arranged proverbs are primarily meant to teach the ideal military leader how to develop a keen eye for the intricacies of leading men and analysing circumstances. On occasion Sun Tzu and his co-authors do provide very specific advice on how to act in different situations and how to interpret different warning signs, but the overall purpose remains one of facilitating a way of thought. In short, it concerns itself more with overall strategy, to a minor degree with logistics and the least with tactics. These characteristics are what make the ancient writings even today popular among military officers, businessmen, historians and military hobbyists, who revere the book for its timeless wisdom that remains applicable and even transferable to other domains, such as business, in an age that differs so fundamentally to the era in which the original was written.

The title of this art book has, of course, been chosen intentionally to invoke the Chinese general and his writings. While the primary purpose is to showcase art that has been inspired by war, it is also meant to be a chronology of important and decisive battles in the history of the world. In this context, we want to apply the general’s wisdom to the wars that have been fought throughout the ages, whether the factions involved have acted according to them or whether they have shown an almost criminal neglect of the most basic principles of warfare. Of course, their application is not based on a deep military or historical analysis, but it is rather meant as an inspiration for the reader to delve into the history and circumstances as well as Sun Tzu’s writing him- or herself. Beginning with one of the earliest armed conflicts, the Battle of Kadesh, this book visits battlefields from the ever war-torn landscapes of Europe to the more inconspicuous battlegrounds in the frozen wastes of Finland or the scorching deserts of the Middle East and ends its grand tour with the wars that changed the understanding of war and warfare forever: the World Wars. Every conflict is accompanied by artwork, either contemporary or retrospective, meant to show how the depiction of war changed (or remained the same) throughout the centuries.

Millennia of War

Sun Tzu said: The art of war is of vital importance to the State. It is a matter of life and death, a road either to safety or to ruin. Hence it is a subject of inquiry which can on no account be neglected.

To make a list of all the wars, battles or minor armed conflicts that humanity has ever fought throughout its history, would be go beyond the scope of the possible. For one, we can say for certain that not all conflicts have been recorded or handed down in history and not all accounts of those battles that have been committed to the collective memory of mankind, are above scrutiny. One of the most famous truisms expresses this by saying that “history is written by the victor”, which seems to cast a shadow of doubt over those eras of human history that are less well documented. How many minor conflicts have fallen through the cracks of the stage that is history? How many records have been written by historians who were mired too much in their culture and perspective? For the moment, these questions remain unanswerable. What is left, i

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