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Reflections on Victory

from 325.00
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Reflections on Victory

from 325.00

Where one stands with the ghosts on the famous battleground of Isandlwana gazing back through the silence of time, the struggles of a bygone era bring reality to the vision that freedom comes at a great cost to mankind. It is rarely gained without sacrifice and self denial. The story told so passionately and vividly to us in 2002 by a Zulu Prince as we sat near one of many cairns of stones marking the graves of Chelmsford’s fallen British soldiers and auxiliaries, inspired me to tell the story in a drawing.

Original Drawing Available 

Unframed Limited Edition Giclee Prints 300 signed & numbered by Chris with a Certificate of Authenticity

880 x 710 mm

Graphite Pencil

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Where one stands with the ghosts on the famous battleground of Isandlwana gazing back through the silence of time, the struggles of a bygone era bring reality to the vision that freedom comes at a great cost to mankind. It is rarely gained without sacrifice and self denial. The story told so passionately and vividly to us in 2002 by a Zulu Prince as we sat near one of many cairns of stones marking the graves of Chelmsford’s fallen British soldiers and auxiliaries, inspired me to tell the story in a drawing.

Original Drawing Available 

Unframed Limited Edition Giclee Prints 300 signed & numbered by Chris with a Certificate of Authenticity

880 x 710 mm

Graphite Pencil

On January 22nd 1879 one of the greatest defeats suffered by the British army during, the Victorian era took place in the shadow of the now famous rocky outcrop known as Isandhlwana, South Africa. Under the command of Lord Chelmsford, 1768 British troops and African auxiliaries were engaged by 24,000 Zulu warriors of King Cetshwayoka Mpande. With horrifying speed and desperate had to hand fighting in the final stage, the British force was swept aside resulting in over 1300 men killed in a four hour battle.

A victorious and defiant Zulu warrior stands on the battlefield his gaze perhaps foreseeing the consequences that the inevitable British response will bring for the future of the Zulu kingdom. He carries the big regimental war-shield (izihlangn), a throwing spear (izijala) and the iklwa, a short stabbing spear used in close combat.  The dying lion, a symbol of strength and courage, represents the defeat and bravery of the British force at Isandhlwana.  The fallen shield and axe (a symbol of status), signify the later destruction of the old Zulu kingdom – smothered by the lion of the British Empire, the paw restricting any further military success by the Zulus.  The Union Jack, unceremoniously falling to the ground from the hill of Isandhlwana, depicts the humiliation of the British defeat.  The buffalo symbolises the classic Zulu attack formation known as izimpondo zankhomo. The horns of the beast, and was inspired by the image of a charging bull.  Its chest, the isifuba, delivers the severity of the frontal attack and the izimpondo, or hors, providing the flanking and encircling movement.  The white service helmets, often dyed with tea or coffee to be less conspicuous, represent the fallen British soldiers.  The circle behind the warrior’s head records the partial solar eclipse which was at its height during the battle at 2.29pm.

These words are written under the drawing.