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1815 Milano ‐ 1886 Munich
“After the Battle of Solferino”
33 x 51,5 cm
Oil on wood
Fine Art

Galerie Paffrath

4,800 €
In the painting “After the Battle of Solferino” one looks in vain for heroes and courage to fight. A tired troop drag themselves through the seemingly peaceful northern Italian landscape. On the left and right of the path are fallen and broken weapons. The houses are barricaded, their roofs shot to pieces. Leaning on comrades or thrown on wagons, the wounded try to save themselves. Anyone who takes a closer look at the painting discovers a never-ending train. In fact, what was happening on the 15-kilometer-long front quickly got completely out of control and disintegrated into countless skirmishes with no plan or order. An approaching storm made it even more difficult to rescue and care for the wounded. Henry Dunant (1828 – 1910), who, as an actually uninvolved witness of the battle, tried to set up at least a makeshift emergency service with the peasant wives of a nearby hamlet. But he despaired of the lack of doctors, bandages and clean drinking water. The experience shaped him so deeply that he campaigned both for the establishment of the Red Cross and for the enforcement of the Geneva Conventions for the Rescue of the Wounded. The painting by Franz Adam also impressively reproduces the intense experience of desolation and helplessness immediately after the Battle of Solferino.
Franz Adam was considered the most gifted son of the painter Albrecht Adam. Franz Adam worked with him until his father’s death in 1862. Together they took on various noble clients in Stuttgart, Augustenburg and Vienna. In 1849 Adam took part in the campaign in northern Italy and became a valued battle painter by Emperor Franz Joseph, who subsequently sent him to the battlefields of the Austrian army. He was also present in the famous battle of Solferino south of Lake Garda in June 1859. The battle fought in the course of the struggle for Italian independence has long been considered the “bloodiest battle since Waterloo”. In June 1859, 150,000 soldiers from the Kingdom of Sardinia and its allied France met a 130,000-strong Austrian army in the lovely hills south of Lake Garda. In his wake was Franz Adam, who usually captured the noble deeds of the army in heroic crowd scenes.

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