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Agincourt Mudbath by EthicallyChallenged Agincourt Mudbath by EthicallyChallenged
The life of the Medieval nobility was one of privilege, riches and excess. To prove one's worth, a typical nobleman would often engage in social displays of various kinds, trying to outdo his peers in showing off his riches. From commissioning a new castle to purchasing a splendid falcon, every possession was seen as a way to boost one's splendor while diminishing that of his neighbors.

There were numerous ways to show off wealth. Among the most expensive was armor. Magnificent suits made by only the most skillful of craftsmen were a combination of engineering, ingenuity, utility and beauty. It is no surprise that every knight wanted to be seen in the best specimen of technological wonder he could afford.

Equipped with the most expensive suits of wearable art, riding the priciest destriers and sporting luxurious jewelry, the knights would often gather at festivals to show off their wealth. One such festival took place at Agincourt in 1415, where a new way of impressing one's peers came to life.

It started much like any other social gathering: two large groups of knights from France and England met to show off their newest most prized possessions. This time however, one small incident triggered a chain of events that gave birth to a whole new tradition. During one of the rainier days, the English king Henry V, wearing his splendid, richly gilded suit, slipped and fell in the mud. He was able to turn his mishap into a new way of impressing other knights. What better way to impress others with an expensive piece of armor, than to show total disregard for it? Pretending a little mud is nothing, implying he has much better armor back home , Henry laughed it off. Not to be outdone, other knights quickly followed suit, trying their hardest to show how little they cared about their expensive armor getting muddied. When this new fad reached critical mass, what resulted was the biggest mudbath in recorded history. Soon everyone was wallowing in the muck, pretending not to be fazed, while simultaneously doing their best to avoid damaging their precious suits of armour while getting the others muddy. This continued until Humphrey of Lancaster, Henry's younger brother (depicted on the bottom) cut himself on a beer bottle - a danger that still lurks in the mud frequented by the festival-goers of today.

While creating this cover for Medieval Warfare Magazine I had a great pleasure of working with Tobias Capwell, the curator of the Wallace Collection, who is a great source of knowledge about armor. His expertise and guidance helped me appreciate armor on a deeper level, see it as something more than merely protection and learn a great deal about the subject.
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:iconblitzgob:
Blitzgob Featured By Owner Mar 14, 2017
What the hell is this description XD for some seconds I believed it.
mostly because I didn't recognize the name "Agincourt", we call it Azincourt in french.
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:iconethicallychallenged:
EthicallyChallenged Featured By Owner Mar 14, 2017   Digital Artist
What do you mean "for some seconds"? Why would you not believe it?
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:icondarkomen94:
DarkOmen94 Featured By Owner Mar 11, 2017
Looks like there is some bloody work to be done
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:iconmensjedezeemeermin:
MensjeDeZeemeermin Featured By Owner Feb 28, 2017
Absolutely stunning color, action, and detail.
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:iconethicallychallenged:
EthicallyChallenged Featured By Owner Mar 1, 2017   Digital Artist
Thank you very much!
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:iconbraineater97:
Braineater97 Featured By Owner Edited Feb 8, 2017
Remarkable how Humphrey down there managed to cut himself through a couple of centimeters of plate armour.
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:iconcardsharkinfluence:
CardsharkInfluence Featured By Owner Dec 17, 2016
Wonderful explicative text! Oh, yeah, I guess the artwork isn't bad either...
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:iconforgottenhonor0:
ForgottenHonor0 Featured By Owner Nov 17, 2016
That's not King Harry, is it? Surely he wouldn't be fighting on foot with his men-at-arms? He'd most likely be on horseback. I'm just saying, from a historical point of view. Though, I suppose it could be a cousin, or other member of the royal family.
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:iconkingsguard1415:
KingsGuard1415 Featured By Owner Feb 28, 2017
I'm sure I read somewhere that when Gloucester went down and French knights clustered about him, eager to take him for ransom, Henry himself waded in to defend his brother. It's not hard to see why men would follow him!
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:iconforgottenhonor0:
ForgottenHonor0 Featured By Owner Feb 28, 2017
King Henry V was and still is beloved by the English, both in history and in legend.
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:iconethicallychallenged:
EthicallyChallenged Featured By Owner Nov 17, 2016   Digital Artist
Who is "King Harry"? Also, they are not fighting, please read the description.
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:iconforgottenhonor0:
ForgottenHonor0 Featured By Owner Nov 17, 2016
King Henry V. Also known as Hal or King Harry.
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:iconjohnbyng:
JohnByng Featured By Owner Mar 5, 2016
Brilliant work!
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:iconmarcosalipio:
MarcosAlipio Featured By Owner Feb 17, 2016  Student Digital Artist
Wow, Congratulations!!!

Marcos alipio
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:iconcelebrithil:
Celebrithil Featured By Owner Jan 13, 2016
And people passing by just wrote their name on muddy armour, too. ^^

The picture is absolutely wonderful, but I loved the description.
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:iconcoreyamurray:
CoreyAMurray Featured By Owner Edited Jan 6, 2016
Of course, the exact sizes of the French and English armies, as well as the numbers of casualties and wounded, are largely uncertain, because no reliable contemporary documents are known to have survived to allow us to estimate those numbers with any degree of accuracy...
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:iconmartyngraham92:
Martyngraham92 Featured By Owner Dec 4, 2015
Excellent work. I'm a musician with plans to make an epic 'Agincourt' album. Seeking fine art that captures the music and music that captures the art. I'm not planning on typical folk music I want full band. 

Sample below. It's not finished obviously so I could of waited until it's more finished but will give a solid impression of what I'm getting at. I want to present this great story through great music and art. It deserves to be recognised as does all of history.

soundcloud.com/guitar_player_9…
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:iconzeonista:
Zeonista Featured By Owner Oct 27, 2015
It was a good move by Henry V, since he put off any omens about falling, any real fears about hand to hand combat on bad ground, and getting dirty in the figurative sense. The tension relief was necessary, since on the morning of Saint Crispin's Day an English victory was by no means clear or inevitable.
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:iconsdowning:
sdowning Featured By Owner Oct 25, 2015
Great pic, but Joan of Arc beat English! what do you think of her and the trial and burning her at the stake? If Henry V met Joan of Arc at 1429, he can beat her?
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:iconjohnmccambridge:
JohnMcCambridge Featured By Owner Oct 23, 2015  Professional Digital Artist
LOL love the painting and the story very funny
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:icondick-plant:
Dick-Plant Featured By Owner Oct 22, 2015
Thanks for the bit of culture! Excellent drawing, i want to be like you when i grow up! Also, armour were made to protect, there's no better way to exhibit it than showing how much damage it can take and still looking good.
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:iconbrowncoatmando:
BrowncoatMando Featured By Owner Oct 22, 2015  Hobbyist
you've got a real talent for comedy writing.
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:icondrbookworm:
DrBookworm Featured By Owner Oct 18, 2015  Student General Artist
Great depiction of Henry V. Have you ever done any Wars of the Roses based art?
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:iconethicallychallenged:
EthicallyChallenged Featured By Owner Oct 20, 2015   Digital Artist
Thanks! Only one so far - battle of Bosworth:
ethicallychallenged.deviantart…
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:icondrbookworm:
DrBookworm Featured By Owner Oct 22, 2015  Student General Artist
Ah I didn't realise that was Bosworth. Great description there too. XD
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:iconforesternew:
Foresternew Featured By Owner Oct 13, 2015
Splendid artwork. 

 But....   Humphrey was Duke of Gloucester, and survived the battle, the war and on into middle age - unlike one of his brothers.
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:iconethicallychallenged:
EthicallyChallenged Featured By Owner Oct 14, 2015   Digital Artist
Thank you! As to the other part, I strongly refuse to take the blame for that.
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:iconforesternew:
Foresternew Featured By Owner Oct 19, 2015
Well, at least he did found Duke Humphrey's Library at Oxford University...........
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:iconlordgood:
LordGood Featured By Owner Sep 18, 2015  Professional Digital Artist
Lot of good that armor does if it can't hold up to a beer bottle! Brilliant description haha

Very nice work
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:iconsharquelle:
Sharquelle Featured By Owner Sep 7, 2015  Hobbyist Writer
Working through my watch feed, seeing your name in there with works like these (and the matching descriptions) makes me smile everytime! :love:
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:iconethicallychallenged:
EthicallyChallenged Featured By Owner Sep 7, 2015   Digital Artist
Knowing that people read my captions makes my day a little brighter :D
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:iconswietopelk:
Swietopelk Featured By Owner Sep 6, 2015  Student Digital Artist
Hmmm, from what I know, knights would most likely disattach their visors in a melee on foot. You can hardly see anything in the "dog face" type of visor, and from my own experience, seeing a guy sneaking from the side is more important than protecting your face with a metal plate (you'd still protect it with your weapon/shield). Visors were pretty much used only for charging, when you only need to see forward.

Other than that, this is an amazing piece!
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:iconethicallychallenged:
EthicallyChallenged Featured By Owner Sep 7, 2015   Digital Artist
Dzięki! W kwestii przyłbic, to kolejna z wielu sytuacji w których musze się trzymać kierunku wytoczonego przez redaktora i autora artykułu. Ten wspomniany w opisie, mający sporo doświadczenia w temacie (praktycznego i teoretycznego) twierdził, że mieli zamknięte, to maluję zamknięte bo się nie znam ;)
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:iconswietopelk:
Swietopelk Featured By Owner Sep 7, 2015  Student Digital Artist
Ekspertem w sprawach wojny stuletniej konkretnie nie jestem (może jakiś rycerski kodeks honorowy zabraniający zachodzić kogoś od tyłu, akurat by się stosowali :P), ale osobiste doświadczenia każą mi się z nim nie zgodzić. Jest to dość otwarta debata, ale moim zdaniem dwie wąskie szparki to za mało żeby mieć pojęcie o tym, co dzieje się wokół, a to może zabić - nawet jeśli ma się porządną corazzinę, brygantynę, czy inną puszkę ochronną ;)

Sam działam w odtwórstwie wczesnego średniowiecza - zasady są inne niż w późnym, bo walki są faktycznie konkurencyjne (bitwy z tamtego okresu i Słowiańskich terenów, których wynik jest znany historii można policzyć na palcach obu rąk), więc zamiast inscenizacji mamy manewry i walkę na "śmierć". Dopiero w takich sytuacjach okazuje się, jak ważne jest pole widzenia, gdzie nawet zasłonięcie boków twarzy potrafi sprawić, że padnie się od kogoś, kto zabiegnie z boku.

Ale dość historycznych dywagacji, pora na trochę wazeliny :D Długo szukałem czegoś, co łączyłoby historyczną dokładność albumów Ospreya, ale skupiało się bardziej na przedstawieniu realiów, niż eksponowaniu na siłę ekwipunku. U Ciebie zawsze mogę liczyć na smakowitą kompozycję, dynamikę, świetne tekstury i materiały ;) Nie wiem jak Ci się to udaje sprawić, ale zawsze ma się wrażenie, że uczestniczy się w scenach, które przedstawiasz. Bardziej nawet, niż gdyby patrzyło się na ich zdjęcia. Coraz bardziej uświadamia mnie to, ile jeszcze muszę się nauczyć...
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:iconleentien:
LeeNTien Featured By Owner Sep 5, 2015
Hmm, I feel bad for always looking forward to seeing your new works... for the description under the picture, rather than the picture itself...

Still - it's awesome! XD
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:iconprdell:
PRdell Featured By Owner Edited Sep 4, 2015
:-D  Great comment :-D

On the note of armour, this year´s 600th anniversary of the battle of Azincourt saw quite a good representation of the armour work at 1415 is especially beautifully done king Henry and the leading French nobility.

The English kind can be seen for example here: htwww.flickr.com/photos/celiapea…

while the french nobles are on pic here: www.flickr.com/photos/celiapea…

It is a gallery well worth seeing
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:iconorestix:
Orestix Featured By Owner Sep 4, 2015
Oh, so it was a MUDbath and not a BLOODbath, after all. Thank God you are always here to set things straight and correct those silly and wrong historical perceptions of ours...
(Didn't even need to read the description. I started laughing right at the moment I saw the size of it - and I knew it would be a funny one. Again).
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:iconrebellinglemming:
RebellingLemming Featured By Owner Sep 3, 2015  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Great art! Thanks for sharing knowledge! You cannot know how much this can uplift me here!
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:iconcederien:
Cederien Featured By Owner Edited Sep 3, 2015
Your images are great. Historical accurate and absolutely beautiful to look at at the same time. This one is no exception, but the hilarious comments you come up with from time to time, those are priceless. :)
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:iconkeerla:
Keerla Featured By Owner Sep 3, 2015  Hobbyist General Artist
Fantastic!
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:icontomgrab100:
tomgrab100 Featured By Owner Sep 3, 2015
Jak zwykle, wspaniała praca, kompozycja i detal powalają,
pozdrawiam
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:iconfroggywoggy11:
froggywoggy11 Featured By Owner Edited Sep 3, 2015  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Incredible painting! One of your best to date.

Edit: After having read your description I'm excited to see that you worked with the curator of the Wallace Collection - it is one of the hidden jewels of London and has an incredible arms and armour collection.
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:iconnerodango:
nerodango Featured By Owner Edited Sep 3, 2015  Hobbyist Writer
Mudbaths seem to be one sport where it's outgrown its origins and is now dominated by Women’s leagues.
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:iconchrispy92:
Chrispy92 Featured By Owner Sep 3, 2015  Student Writer
Man, throwing mud using pointy sticks would be pretty damn challenging. : )
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:iconsmirtouille:
Smirtouille Featured By Owner Sep 3, 2015  Professional Digital Artist
Cut on a beer bottle, oh, such a drama queen. The dude with your signature on is definitely winning.
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