The Battle of Ramillies

Made by De Blompot (The Flowerpot), Rotterdam, Netherlands, 1692 - 1852. De Blompot owned by the Aelmis family1692-1787.

Made in Rotterdam, Netherlands, Europe


Tin-glazed earthenware with polychrome decoration

Approximately: 6 feet 9 7/8 inches x 10 feet 7 15/16 inches (208 x 325 cm)

Curatorial Department:
European Decorative Arts and Sculpture

Object Location:

Currently not on view

Accession Number:

Credit Line:
Gift of Mrs. Francis P. Garvan, 1979

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This tile picture depicts a battle that took place in Ramillies, a village in Brabant province in the Spanish Netherlands (modern Belgium), in May 1706. This battle was an important event in the War of the Spanish Succession, which arose from a dispute between English, Dutch, and French rulers over the succession to the throne of Spain. John Churchill, duke of Marlborough, commanded allied English and Dutch troops; François de Neufville, duke of Villeroi, led an equal number of opposing French forces.

The French arrived at Ramillies first but quickly lost their advantage; Villeroi unwisely stationed them along the entire length of a four-mile ridge. When Marlborough launched a powerful attack on the French left, Villeroi was forced to pull reinforcements from the center of his line. Marlborough then redirected half the troops from the left flank assault to attack the now-weakened French center. Undetected until it was too late, Marlborough's forces defeated Villeroi's overextended army. Both sides sustained thousands of casualties, but French losses were at least three times those of the English and Dutch. Although the victory at Ramillies seemed decisive, peace was not achieved until 1714.

A tile picture of this size would have been made as a special commission, most likely to commemorate someone who showed exceptional valor at the battle of Ramillies. The holes at the bottom of the picture are, appropriately, bullet holes.