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The Retreat

BENASSIT, Louis Eugène (1833 - 1904)

The Retreat

Media: oil on canvas

Size: 27.1 x 41.0 cm

Acquired: 1882; Transfer; Cardiff Museum

Accession Number: NMW A 2642

This huge procession of downtrodden soldiers refers to the retreat of General Bourbaki’s army during the Franco-Prussian war in February 1871. During fighting near the border the Prussians had cut off the French retreat. Rather than surrendering, around 83,000 men with 11,000 horses took refuge in neutral Switzerland. This brief war was a military disaster for France and it affected the nation deeply.

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