Gallery of prints for sale

Tuesday 6 June 2023

Nicolas Tardieu’s etching with engraving, “Battle of the Milvian Bridge”, 1715, after Charles Le Brun and Rubens

Nicolas Tardieu (aka Nicolas Henri Tardieu) (1674–1749)

“Battle of the Milvian Bridge” (aka “Slag bij de Milvische brug”; “Bataille de Constantin contre le Tyran Maxence”; “Constantini pugna contra Maxentium Tyrannum”), 1715, after the design by Charles Le Brun (aka Charles Lebrun) (1619–1690) and after Peter Paul Rubens’ (aka Petrus Paulus Rubenius) (1577–1640) painting (with significant differences), from the series, “Werken van Charles le Brun” (The work of Charles le Brun), published by Nicolas Tardieu in Paris with royal privilege.

Note that Girard Audran (aka Gérard Audran) (1640–1703) also made an etching with engraving of the same composition in 1666. The British Museum offers the following description of the portrayed scene: “The Victory of Constantine over Maxentius (28 October AD 312); the bridge is on the right with Constantine in profile and raised spear riding onto it, amid a vast melee of soldiers and horses” (

Etching with engraving on laid paper trimmed around the image borderline and the lines of text, backed with a support sheet.

Size: (sheet) 28.7 x 59.5 cm; (image borderline) 25 x 59.5 cm.

Lettered below the image borderline: (left) “Carol. le Brun inv.”; (left of centre) “CONSTANTINI PUGNA CONTRA MAXENTIUM TYRANNU/ V. Kal. Novembris anno Christi 312,/ CONSTANTIN us quum de extinguenda […] suis exitum invenit./ A Paris chez N. Tardieu rue St. Jacques au Mecenas. Avec Privilege du Roy.”; (right of centre) “BATAILLE DE CONSTANTIN CONTRE LE TYRAN MAXENCE/ Donnée le 28 Octobre l’an 312 de Jesus Christ./ CONSTANTIN, confirmé par la vision […] de ses crimes.”; (right) “N. Tardieu excudit 1715.”

LeBlanc 42–53 (Charles Le Blanc 1854-1888, “Manuel de l'amateur d'estampes: contenant le dictionnaire des graveurs de toutes les nations”, vol. 4, Paris, p. 5, cat. nos. 42–53).

See also the description of this print offered by the Rijksmuseum:

Condition: a strong and well-printed impression trimmed along the image borderline and retaining the lines of text below. There are spots of abrasion (especially in the lower margin) that have been restored. The sheet has been laid upon an archival support sheet of millennium quality washi paper providing wide margins.

I am selling this magnificent and very large etching (with engraving) executed with amazing skill to capture the complexity of the scene—note that the portrayed battle was more of a massacre than a combat and the grimness is summed up by the kneeling figure in the centre-foreground who is not only beheading a fallen horseman but is also holding in his mouth the severed head of a previous victim (following the Roman principle that soldiers were rewarded by the number of adversaries’ heads of that they collected)—for AU$374 in total (currently US$249.98/EUR226.18/GBP199.11 at the time of this listing) including postage and handling to anywhere in the world (but not, of course, any import duties/taxes imposed by some countries).

If you are interested in purchasing this grand manner print, please contact me ( and I will send you a PayPal invoice to make the payment easy.

This print has been sold 

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