The picture was painted in 1870. Before entering Brera, it was shown at the National Exhibition of Fine Arts in 1872. Fattori’s realistic and anti-rhetorical approach transforms the illustration of one of the fundamental episodes of the Risorgimento into an occasion for depicting the less flamboyant and high-flown aspects of war and military life.
The celebratory and patriotic intent, clearly linked with the tackling of a subject of this kind in the year when the city walls of Rome were breached at Porta Pia, seems to have been pushed into the background here, and Fattori has decided not to represent a precise action (the wounding itself or the moment when people rush to his aid) but to portray a moment of apparent calm shortly after the arrival of the ambulance: the protagonist, at the center of the canvas supported by attendants, is almost invisible in the throng of men and horses that surrounds him, while the observer’s gaze is distracted by the depiction of the soldiers and the brightly lit landscape in which the scene is set, where it is only after a few moments that the eye starts to pick out the bodies of the fallen.
AUTHOR Giovanni Fattori
OBJECT TYPE AND MATERIAL Oil on canvas
DIMENSIONS cm 100 × 265
Work on display
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