Adam van Breen: Exercise with rapier and shield, nr 21 (1618)

(Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam, The Netherlands)

An engraving made by the Dutch artist Adam van Breen (1585-1640). This picture comes from the book "Nassausche wapen-handelinge, van schilt, spies, rappier, ende targe" (= The Nassau weapon exercises with shield, pike, rapier and Targe). These books were intended as manuals for officers to train the new recruits. This print explains to the new recruit what a defensive position with rapier and shield looks like. At the time of this print, swords and shield were hardly used on the battlefield with - most of the solders were armed with muskets and pikes. Only some elite units used shields and during a siege shields had some use. Engraving from 1618.