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Wilhelm II.

Discussion in 'vBench (Works in Progress)' started by Martin Antonenko, Oct 18, 2022.

  1. Martin Antonenko A Fixture

    Country:
    Germany
    1. Day, October 18, 2022

    Here we go again!

    This time I took on the beautiful bust of "William the Loudspeaker" modeled really well by Eduardo Sanchez-Barbero from "Dolman"...:

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    The bust is based on an elaborately hand-colored original photo - namely this one...:

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    Since Wilhelm is wearing a Russian uniform in the photo, I will first tell you the story of this photo:

    It was common in those days before World War I, when most of Europe was still a monarchy, for monarchs to give one another regiments from their respective armies as gifts.

    The gifted king or emperor thus became the nominal commander of the respective regiment, of course only on paper, because the regiment itself remained part of the army of the state to which it belonged.

    Before the First World War, there were two heads of state who collected such "honours" in excess: Great Britain's Edward VII and Germany's Kaiser Wilhelm II.

    Wilhelm owned more than 150 uniforms of those in the "transferred" regiments - and again just as many of the military units of the German Empire!

    Edward was no less - both were known to change their clothes up to seven times a day in order to wear the right uniform for every conceivable occasion.

    The uniform worn by Wilhelm II in the photo in question is that of the Russian 85th Rifle Regiment "Vyborg", so named after its home base and recruiting district, the city of Vyborg (Finnish: Viipuri) in the historical region of Karelia between Saint Petersburg and today Finnish border with almost 80,000 inhabitants.

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    Wilhelm had this regiment as German crown prince from the then Tsar Aleksandr III. received, since then the soldiers of this unit wore the monogram "W" on their epaulettes.

    When Wilhelm in the "year of the three emperors" 1888 under the name "Wilhelm II." German Emperor, King of Prussia and thus reigning monarch, the Russians politely added the "R" for "Rex" (= "King") and the Roman numeral "Two" to the monogram...:

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    A special regulation was issued for this...:

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    Since then the regiment's full name has been:

    "85-й пехотный Выборгский Его Императорского Королевского Величества Императора Германского Короля Прусского Вильгельма II полк"

    In Lautschrift:
    "85-y pekhotnyy Vyborgskiy Yego Imperatorskogo Korolevskogo Velichestva Imperatora Germanskogo Korolya Prusskogo Vil'gel'ma II polk"

    In English:
    "85th Vyborg Infantry Regiment of His Imperial-Royal Majesty the German King of Prussia Wilhelm II."

    The unit bore this name up to the day of the outbreak of the First World War, when - Prussia/Germany were on the opposing side - everything Wilhelmian was dropped without replacement.

    But back to the photo that was the template for the bust of Eduardo...:

    On July 14, 1912, Wilhelm II paid an official visit to "his" Vyborg regiment in Baltishport (today's Lithuania).

    In the morning he was officially received by his cousin, Tsar Nikolai II, and decorated with one of the highest Russian medals, the "Order of Saint Andrew the First Called" (Russian: "Орденъ святого Андрея Первозванного", pronounced: "Order Swjatogo Andreja Perwoswannogo ").

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    The light blue sash of the order of Wilhelm II can be clearly seen in the following pictures.

    Then they boarded the Tsar's private train...

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    ... to the maneuver area, located outside of the city.

    In the following picture we see Kaiser Wilhelm II (1), next to him his cousin, Tsar Nikolai II (2), the thoroughly corrupt Russian Minister of War Vladimir Aleksandrovich Sukhomlinov (3), his rival and chairman of the powerful Military Committee, the Tsar's uncle, Grand Duke Nikolay Nikolayevich (4), and the actual commander of the "Vyborg" regiment, Polkovnik (Colonel) Maksim Nikolayevich Leontyev (5)...:

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    All wear the appropriate uniform of the "Vyborger"!

    Emperor and Tsar first went to the regimental flag, which Wilhelm presented with a banner as a distinction...:

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    Since the turmoil of the Revolution, this flag ribbon has also disappeared, as has the flag of the "Vyborgers" itself, there is only this colored illustration of it...:

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    **continued next post**
    Jaybo, sd0324, Oda and 3 others like this.
  2. Martin Antonenko A Fixture

    Country:
    Germany
    Part II

    But the flag ribbon will not have looked any different than this one...

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    ... which has been preserved and which Wilhelm II lent to another Russian regiment that also "belonged" to him, namely the

    "13-й гусарский Нарвский Его Императорского Королевского Величества Императора Германского Короля Прусского Вилька II Вильго"

    ("13-y gusarskiy Narvskiy Yego Imperatorskogo Korolevskogo Velichestva Imperatora Germanskogo Korolya Prusskogo Vilgelm II" / "13th Narva Hussars of His Imperial Royal Majesty the German Emperor and King of Prussia Wilhelm II.)

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    While Wilhelm II's Vyborg uniforms have been lost (he also owned the gala version of this outfit!)...

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    ... at least his coat has been preserved from his hussar uniform, clearly recognizable by the shorter left sleeve and the embroidered monogram...:

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    After the award of the banner, the two rulers and their extensive entourage inspected a parade of the regiment...:

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    Then they met in the officers' mess (Colonel Leontiev...

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    ... it will have been a relief that everything went smoothly!) - and Wilhelm II gave the regiment that almost life-size, hand-colored photograph!

    Incidentally, a highly elaborate photo book was made of the visit, including the sash of the "St. Andrew's Order" on the cover...

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    ... which is where most of the old pictures here come from!

    The hand-colored photograph hung on the wall there until the outbreak of war - and in Aleksandr Sholschenyzin ("August 14") we can read that the picture was not hung there, but only turned with the photo side facing the wall.

    It is now lost, as are all other awards and gifts that the "Vyborger" received in the course of their more than 300-year history as a regiment!

    The enterprising photographer requested and then received permission from the imperial court to bring the reduced photograph to the public in a larger edition for heavy coins - so it stayed with us...:

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    **continued next post**
  3. Nap A Fixture

    Country:
    England
    Hi Martín

    Great to see you having this bust on the bench ....what a fine sculpt from Dolman and what a fine start to the SBS ...research at its best

    Following right with you

    Happy benchtime

    Nap
    Oda and Martin Antonenko like this.
  4. Martin Antonenko A Fixture

    Country:
    Germany
    Part III


    As for the bust, not so much has happened today!

    The head has been cleaned...

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    ... and mounted on a cork with a glued toothpick pin and carpet tape...

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    ... and then primed with "Army Painter Grey"...:

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    So much for today!


    Cheers
  5. Steve Ski A Fixture

    Country:
    United-States
    This should be a doozy, Ruck On, Martin!
    Martin Antonenko likes this.
  6. Chris Mills PlanetFigure Supporter

    Country:
    Australia
    Fabulous figure and review!
    Nap and Martin Antonenko like this.
  7. Ventress Well-Known Member

    Country:
    England
    Following with interest. Great research.
    Nap and Martin Antonenko like this.
  8. Oda A Fixture

    This is a fine bust.Almost perfectly sculpted and cast but even this was overshadowed by your exceptional and mighty intersting research.It was almost like watching a historical domentary.If the possibility was there I would vote for you to get a column of your own on PF where you would regularly organize such presentations.Absolutely thrilling stuff mate.

    Oda.
  9. Nap A Fixture

    Country:
    England
    Hi Martín

    Preps coming along nicely ,yes I know it's 3D but it's a great sculpt and subject

    Fascinating to see the uniform coat with the shorter sleeve

    Look forward to seeing more

    Happy benchtime

    Nap
    Martin Antonenko likes this.
  10. Nap A Fixture

    Country:
    England

    Agree there , interesting suggestion , there is the search facility to use to find all of Martins SBS , it's a major commitment if it happened , he does of course already do a "Today in History" https://www.planetfigure.com/forums/today-in-history-literature-media-review.27/

    Nap
  11. Oda A Fixture

    Thank you Kevin.I had no idea.

    Oda.
    Martin Antonenko likes this.
  12. clubcat PlanetFigure Supporter

    Country:
    England
    Very interesting post. look forward to following your progress.
    Martin Antonenko likes this.
  13. Martin Antonenko A Fixture

    Country:
    Germany
    2. Day, October 19, 2022


    I don't know why this is the case for me, but in order to be able to "properly" paint a character, I have to be able to look her in the eyes!

    Only then does it "speak" to me and I get a relationship with it.

    So let's start with the eyes!

    Let's take a closer look at the eyes of Wilhelm the Magnificent, and not only use the hand-colored template, but also secure color photographs...:

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    We see a fairly light gray-blue and two other things stand out:

    The eyes themselves are quite small - and so is the Emperor's irises, which gave his gaze a piercing quality. Heinrich Mann writes in his wonderful novel "Der Untertan" so ironically: The emperor's eyes "flashed"!

    And also: The "white" in Mr. Kaiser's eye has a pretty gray cast!

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    So now eyepainting is the order of the day, it's a bit stupid to start with the most difficult thing after a long break, but my "tick" (see above) demands it!

    I used these colors for this...

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    ... and here's the result...:

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    I think I got pretty close to the "original"..:

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    Cheers
  14. Nap A Fixture

    Country:
    England
    Hi Martín

    You've certainly got the "sparkle" in those eyes , this is what we know you for ........looking and researching every detail of a piece .....carefully and with great results

    Will you put any Satin/gloss varnish over the eyes ?

    Thanks for updates

    Looking forward to seeing more

    Happy benchtime

    Nap
    Oda and Martin Antonenko like this.
  15. Martin Antonenko A Fixture

    Country:
    Germany
    [quote="Nap, post: 1290876, member: 3873"
    Will you put any Satin/gloss varnish over the eyes ? [/quote]

    No, I'll leave it to the two tiny reflex points. In addition, Varnish can cause the eyes to shine against the reflection road and counteract it
    Nap likes this.
  16. Martin Antonenko A Fixture

    Country:
    Germany
    3. Day, October 20, 2022


    Today is the acrylic underpainting of the skin areas of the head - so it's time to think about Mr. Kaiser's skin color!

    In advance:

    This hand-colored facial skin of the prototype photo is clearly too pale!

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    Wilhelm II spent at least a third of the year (often more!) traveling, mostly on board his huge private yacht "Hohenzollern" (122 m length, displacement 4,400 tons)...

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    ...either in Scandinavian waters (the so-called annual "Northland Voyages")...

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    ... where he annoyed his conscripted male companions with gymnastic exercises...

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    ... or in the Mediterranean, where he invited himself to his royal colleagues or...

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    ... like visiting historical excavations here on Corfu...:

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    He was also enthusiastic about sailing regattas with his various "Meteor" yachts...

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    ...preferably at "Cowes Week" against the yacht of his British royal uncle Edward VII.

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    He did not like to hunt when traveling abroad, he had a huge hunting ground in the Romintner Heide in East Prussia (which was
    later taken over by "Reichsjägermeister" Hermann Göring)...:

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    Whereby "hunting" meant driving tame deer as close as possible to the barrel of his gun, which he then shot down because he could
    only handle a gun with one arm due to his disability and was therefore a lousy marksman..:

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    Plus the time on horseback during parades and manoeuvres...

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    It is therefore fair to say that Wilhelm II was more out in the fresh air than many of his contemporaries - and that it is therefore
    absolutely correct to make his complexion a little darker than in the hand-colored model photo and use a real color photo instead ...:

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    As I said, today it was the turn of the underpainting with acrylic - and I made the skin tone with these colors...

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    ... whereby I have already roughly created lights and shadows...:

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    Tomorrow we will continue with oil paints.


    Cheers
    Oda, captnenglish, theBaron and 5 others like this.
  17. Steve Brodie PlanetFigure Supporter

    Country:
    United-Kingdom
    Chair pulled up, JD in glass , watching
    Nap and Martin Antonenko like this.
  18. Jaybo Active Member

    Country:
    United-States
    I love the historical research that you done. It is what makes this hobby in my view. So much history was lost in that horrible revolution.
    Nap and Martin Antonenko like this.
  19. samson Well-Known Member

    Country:
    United-States
    Great start and looking good . I really appreciate your time for doing such a great back story ( research) and such a detailed step by step ( great help )
    Nap and Martin Antonenko like this.
  20. Martin Antonenko A Fixture

    Country:
    Germany
    4. Day, October 21, 2022


    Let's go leisurely!

    The first of Mr. Kaiser's eye part and cheek are now painted with oils!

    Herewith...:

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    This is how it looks now - on the other cheek you can still see the acrylic underpainting:

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    But that is only an interim status for the time being.

    The deep shadows were still pale on the cheek - and a few cautious highlights on the chin...

    Cheers
    Nap, samson and theBaron like this.

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