Fencing school; Dutch, 1745

The fencing master in his fencing school

The fencing master in his fencing school

Cut and thrust fencing instruction in around 1745…

This Dutch engraving, by Dutch illustrators Johann and Caspar Luyken, is called “De Schermeester en’t Schermschool” (the fencing master in the fencing school). It depicts young noblemen practicing cut and thrust fencing, probably at a location affiliated with a university.

The foil instruction at right hints at German influences—the left hand is used actively for parrying. Left of the foil fencers, a pommel horse provides the base for vaulting exercise, much like it would remain part of academic exercise for another century..

This may be one of the earliest documents that identifies a salle or fencing academy as a “schermschool” or Fechtschule… a term that previously was applied to the public contests of the fencing guilds and brotherhoods.

Most unusual for the period is the depiction of cut fencers using curved-bladed swords… a good half-century before sabers proper became fashionable in Central Europe.

Cut fencing

3 responses to “Fencing school; Dutch, 1745

  1. WOW. Eye candy for fencers! I love it!

  2. Pingback: Kurze Geschichte Des Akademischen Fechtens In Deutschland; Teil 3: Die Wehrgymnastische Bewegung « Fencingclassics’s Blog

  3. Pingback: Kurze Geschichte Des Akademischen Fechtens In Deutschland; Teil 4: Das Deutsche Hiebfechten vor europäischem Hintergrund « Fencingclassics’s Blog

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