Lawrence Alma-Tadema: The education of the children of Clovis (1861)

(Private Collection)

A historical scene by the Dutch artist Lawrence Alma-Tadema (1836-1912). The woman in the background with the grey cloak and crown is Queen Saint Clotilde (475-545), the second wife of the Frankish king Clovis I (466-511). The father of Clotilde, king Chilperic II of Burgundy, was murdered by Gundobad in 493, forcing Clotilde to flee the country. Eventually Clotilde married with Clovis which led to a long war between Clovis and Gundobad. Clovis died in 511 with the death of Chilperic II unavenged. Clotilde trained her three sons (Chlodomer, Childebert and Clothar) in the art of war (here shown with hurling axes) so they could continue the war. The war between Burgundy and the Franks was finally won by the sons of Clovis 532 when Burgundy was defeated at the battle of Autun and their land taken over. Painting from 1861.