BENASSIT, Louis Eugène (1833 - 1904)
[image: 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.