The cemetery of Saint-Privat near Metz became a bloody battlefield [Battle of Gravelotte] on which 42,000 soldiers died. On 18 August 1870, the French troops, recognizable by their red trousers, fought there in the last moves against the Prussian army.
The light, which penetrates through the battle smoke in the upper part of the picture, emphasizes the drama of the fight. Neuville points out that even defeat can be honorable. With the image he defends the republican patriotism and strengthens the French resolve. The painting, which was first exhibited at the Paris Salon in 1881, earned the artist the title of officer of the Legion of Honor.
• Fade-resistant • 20.5 mil thick poly-cotton blend canvas • Hand-stretched over solid wood stretcher bars • Matte finish coating