One of several of our pocket squares featuring Alexander the Great, The Entrance of Alexander into Babylon shows the triumphal moment that he enters the city of Babylon following his victory over Darius III of Persia.
Alexander the Great
Alexander the Great (356-323BC) was the king of Macedon, to the north of ancient Greece, taking over the monarchy from his father Philip who was assassinated in 336BC at his sister's wedding. He was educated by the philosopher Aristotle, and following his succession to the throne, he spent much of his time on military campaigns throughout western Asia and northeastern Africa.
His invasion of the Persian Empire was to last for years, and culminated in the Battles of Issus and Gaugamela where he defeated Darius III and conquered the entirety of the Persian Empire. Determined to reach "the ends of the world and the Great Outer Sea" he invaded India in 326BC and was victorious at the Battle of the Hydaspes. He turned for home on the demands of his troops who were missing home after the lengthy campaigning, and he died in Babylon, the city which he hoped to make the capital of his empire.
By the age of 30 the the Macedonian empire was one of the largest ever created, stretching from Greece in the west, to northwestern India. Following his death in 323BC at the age of 32, his empire was torn apart by a series of civil wars. To this day, he is often held among the most influential people in history.
Painted in 1665, The Entry of Alexander into Babylon, or sometimes The Triumph of Alexander, shows the point at which, recently having defeated Darius III, Alexander is given a hero's welcome into Babylon. Depicted in a chariot drawn by two elephants, and wearing a golden helmet with laurel leaves, and holding a victory topped sceptre, he is the central focus of the image. Preceded by trumpeters welcoming him to the city, and followed by his warriors, this is a true triumphal entrance. Depicted in the background of the image are the famous Hanging Gardens of Babylon, one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World.
An exceptionally large work, the painting is 707 x 450cm and can be found in the Louvre Museum in Paris.
Charles Le Brun (1619-1690) was a French painter at the court of Louis XIV, who declared him “the greatest French artist of all time". He painted large altarpieces and works of battle scenes to fill the palaces at Versailles and the Louvre where his most famous paintings still hang today.
Le Brun’s goal while painting was to "nourish the spirit", and he wanted his paintings to be read through a series of symbols, costumes, and gestures, making them easily accessible to the masses.
"The sheer size of this painting is quite something to behold, so much so that it is larger than life-sized, and one that I really enjoy visiting whenever I go to Paris. It's an image full of emotion and happiness, showing the authority and confidence that Alexander the Great exuded. With its variety of colours it's a real chameleon of a pocket square and can be worn with multiple jackets, but especially a traditional Navy."
Elliott Rampley, Co-Founder
What Makes Our Pocket Squares Special?
1. We believe that 40cm is the minimum size for a high quality pocket square. Any smaller and it will slide down inside your pocket with any movement of your jacket, while it limits the number of folds you can achieve as there is not enough volume to hold it in place. It goes without saying we would never advocate any form of pocket square holder. All our pocket squares are either 42cm x 42cm or 40cm x 40cm.
2. We use the finest mulberry silk with our silk and wool/silk pocket squares. The quality of the fabric can be seen in the texture and the level of detail and vibrancy of the finished product. All our pocket squares are printed in Macclesfield, England, an area renowned for silk printing for the past 200 years.
3. We take the utmost care in printing our pocket squares, which results in truly remarkable levels of detail. Faces, objects and colours are sharp and well defined to give a truly stunning finish. We also take exceptional care with the colour bleed, so the print is almost as crisp on the back as it is on the front, allowing for an unlimited number of folds.
4. The art of hand rolling pocket squares is a unique craft and truly makes each piece individual and unique. We feel that the precision and care taken by our skilled artisans gives each square its own unique character, finish and feel. To create the finest rolled hems, the edge of the silk must be softy turned over with a handheld needle and then small stitches are inserted approximately one half to one centimetre apart around the edge, creating a supple yet prominent border.