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Monday, 26 March 2018

Spanish Naval Uniforms from the end of the nineteenth century

Whilst sorting through some computer files, I discovered a whole file full of photographs that I took last year during a visit to the Naval Museum in Cartagena, Spain. Amongst them were images of individual uniform paintings that were on display near the entrance to the museum. The original paintings depicted Spanish Naval Uniforms at the end of the nineteenth century, and I thought that they might be of particular interest to those amongst my regular blog readers who study and wargame the Spanish-American War of 1898.













The originals appear to have two signatures; A Buisan and C J Cusachs. The former is a contemporary watercolour artist who seems to specialise in military subjects, particularly uniforms. I can find no information about a C J Cusachs, although I did discover that there was a Catalan soldier and painter named Josep Cusachs i Cusachs who lived from 1851 to 1908. He specialised in military subjects, portraits (including King Alfonso XIII, General Juan Prim and Mexican President Porfirio Díaz), and paintings of sport riding.

Having studied some of Cusachs's uniform paintings (which are very similar in composition to those painted by A Buisan), I have come to the conclusion that the paintings that I photographed in the museum were by A Buisan in the style of Josep Cusachs.

6 comments:

  1. Bob,
    Very appealing art- just the ticket for the Study room framed prints display. The Spanish-American War of 1898 is a very interesting period- both naval engagements and land operations. Regards. KEV.

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    1. Kev Robertson,

      If the museum had sold copies of these paintings, I would have bought them!

      The Spanish-American War was well described when it was called 'a splendid little war'. Lots of relatively small but interesting battles, and plenty of scope for 'what if ...?' speculations.

      All the best,

      Bob

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  2. What an interesting find. I hesitate to throw words like "lubberly" around but a far higher portion have hands in their pockets than I would ever have tolerated in my day!

    These softer watercolours make an interesting change from the simple, bold plates found in many books. Thank you for sharing them.

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    1. Colonel Scipio,

      The Greek Navy of the time was described as 'having tight uniforms and slack ropes' ... and I suspect that the same might have been true of the Spanish Navy.

      You are right; the watercolours are much more subtle than the normal uniform plates, and I would love to own them.

      All the best,

      Bob

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  3. This is a very useful collection of uniform plates. Thanks for sharing!

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    1. Jonathan Freitag,

      It was my pleasure. I only wish that there had been more of them to share.

      All the best,

      Bob

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