About this artwork
Units of crossbowmen used shields or pavises like this example to form a wall of protection while loading and aiming their crossbows. This pavise is part of a group that survived in the arsenal of the Swiss city of Winterthur.
Pavises were the product of specialized shield makers who made the wooden forms and covered them in layers of animal-skin glue, canvas, and leather. Painters then added the colorful front-facing layer with the coat-of-arms of the city of Winterthur (on the left) and Saint George (on the right).
- Pavise with the Arms of Winterthur and Saint George
- Made 1420–1480
- Wood, leather, pigskin, iron, gesso, and pigment
- 112.7 × 43.2 cm (45 3/8 × 17 in.) Wt. 12 lb. 12 oz.
- George F. Harding Collection