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

1910 Solon H. Borglum Born: Ogden, Utah 1868 Died: Stamford, Connecticut 1922 bronze 27 7/8 x 9 x 25 3/4 in. (70.9 x 23.0 x 65.4 cm) Smithsonian American Art Museum Gift of Monica B. Davies and Paul Borglum in memory of Mrs. M. Nash Bly 1968.146 Smithsonian American Art Museum
Luce Foundation Center, 3rd Floor, W320


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)

Keywords

Animal - horse

Equestrian

Portrait male - Napoleon

sculpture

metal - bronze

cast

About Solon H. Borglum

Born: Ogden, Utah 1868 Died: Stamford, Connecticut 1922

More works in the collection by
Solon H. Borglum