Here it is, finally, the vignette I've been working on of Francesco II Gonzaga leading the Italian Men at Arms in a charge at the Battle of Fornovo crossing the River Taro during Charles VIII's ill fated invasion of Italy to capture the Kingdom of Naples.
Many military historians have postulated battles that mark the end of Medieval warfare; in Britain we usually refer to the Battle of Bosworth or the Battle of Stoke Field but in fact history is very much in a state of flux and it is really impossible to pin down when one period finished and another begins. However, if I personally was to choose one campaign and one battle I would have to say that Charles VIII's invasion of Italy in 1495 and the Battle of Fornovo, if anything are about as close as we are going to get in the Western world to a Medieval ways of war moving closer to what we would define as Renaissance warfare.
Charles VIII artillery train is but one aspect that exemplifies my point, his use of Swiss mercenaries armed with their pikes is another.
Anyway, without too much waffling from me, here are the pics:
A note on the livery that I have chosen for Gonzaga's retinue. The yellow and black are taken from the centre of his banner. Information regarding heraldry in English is particularly hard to come by when it comes to The Italian Wars so it was a necessity to take an educated guess as to what his livery might have been. Lack of information will be a common theme to many Late Medieval wargamers but it is particularly difficult to get information for The Italian Wars say, compared to the Wars of the Roses which are relatively well documented.
One last thing I should mention is that the heraldic banners are printed onto a fine cloth by Pete from Pete's Flags which are available from his blog HERE. They really are charming painterly renditions of banners, standards and flag and I would highly recommend them to all.