Description of the artwork «Episode from the battle of Sedan»
Cammarano's painting depicts an episode in the Battle of Sedan that took place between 31 August and 2 September 1870. The decisive clash between the French and Prussian armies took place near the town in north-eastern France. The German allied troops, under the command of H. Moltke, defeated the main French army led by E. P. Mac Mahon and took Emperor Napoleon III himself prisoner. The defeat caused the collapse of the French Empire and the birth of the Third Republic. The events of Sedan also had an effect on Italian affairs, since in Rome Pope Pius IX, who had lost French protection, had no choice but to take refuge in the Vatican and declare himself a political prisoner of the Italian State. Cammarano, who had stayed in Paris in the spring of 1870, returned to Rome in the same year, where he was shortly to celebrate the taking of Rome.