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Napoleon at Moscow: "The Command of God to Retreat"

Napoleon at Moscow: "The Command of God to Retreat"
Artist
Solon H. Borglum, born Ogden, UT 1868-died Stamford, CT 1922
Sitter
Napoleon
Date
1910
Type
Sculpture
Medium
bronze
Dimensions
27 7/8 x 9 x 25 3/4 in. (70.9 x 23.0 x 65.4 cm)
Credit Line
Smithsonian American Art Museum, Gift of Monica B. Davies and Paul Borglum in memory of Mrs. M. Nash Bly
Restrictions & Rights
CC0
Object number
1968.146
Luce Center Label
This is the only known sculpture by Solon Borglum that depicts a non-American figure. Borglum also created a marble replica, which was purchased by the George F. Harding Museum in Chicago. The bowed heads of Napoleon and his horse evoke sympathy as the commander of the French army trudges through the snow after his defeat at Moscow. Borglum's choice to portray Napoleon at the lowest point of his military career may suggest how the artist himself was feeling at the time, as this was a period when commissions were few. But the title may have been a testament to the artist's faith in God's plan, and in fact, Borglum did enjoy success again. (A. Mervyn Davies, Solon H. Borglum: A Man Who Stands Alone, 1974)
Data Source
Smithsonian American Art Museum
See more items in
Smithsonian American Art Museum Collection
Department
Painting and Sculpture
On View
Smithsonian American Art Museum, Luce Foundation Center, 3rd Floor, W320
Smithsonian American Art Museum, Luce Foundation Center
Smithsonian American Art Museum, Luce Foundation Center, 3rd Floor