Monumental painting depicting the episode from the famous Battle by Znaim on 11 july 1809 between Austrian and Napoleonic Troops, where Austrian grenadiers throw back the enemy and take French generals prisoner. On the background of the painting can be see monastery Bruck ( czech name: monastery Louka) . The work was created in 1845 by one of the best Austrian military painters of 19 century Friedrich (Fritz) Wilhelm L´Allemand (1812 Hanau - 1866 Vienna).
There is a second version of the picture (same size and date), which is in possession of the Austrian Gallery Belvedere. In any case, this both paintings are main works of the artist and at all one of main works about history of Austrian-French wars.
We found the painting as registered in the encyclopedia "Malerwerke des 19 Jahrhunderts" (in english: "Works of 19 century") by Friedrich von Boetticher , Leipzig, 1941, page 798, No.6. The original title of the painting by Boetticher (in german) : "Episode aus dem Treffen bei Znaim zwischen den Truppen des Erzherzog Karl und den Franzosen unter Marmont ud Massen am 11.Juli 1809. Oberstlieut. Graf Leiningen wirft den bis an die Tore vorgedrungenen Feind zurück und nimmt drei französichen Generale gefangen" (with identical dimensions and dating).
Her is possible translation in english : "Episode from the battle by Znaim between Austrian troops under Duke Karl and French troops under Marmont ud Massena on 11-July 1809. Colonel lieutenant Count Leiningen throws back to enemy, penetrated to the gates and takes three French generals prisoner".
The battle of Znaim brought the end of the 1809 campaign (11-12 July). Austria, heavily burdened with conditions of the 1805 peace treaty, saw the chance to change its situation with the core of the French army being held in Spain since 1808. With the British financial support the Viennese war party prepared the offensive plan which counted with the general discontent in Germany with the new French-organized Europe. The Austrian H.Q. expected the smaller south German states to join their side however, as in 1805 the plan had failed. Napoleon returned from Spain with the new army composed mostly of the second-line units with important contingents from the Rheinbund states. He managed to push Austrian corps from Bavaria and after the month-lasting campaign he seized Vienna again. Afterwards followed the battle of Aspern-Essling where archduke Charles delivered the French Emperor the very first defeat in his so far brilliant career. However, it was not the decisive loss and six weeks later both armies stood again face to face on the same field. In the battle of Wagram Napoleon succeeded and forced Austrians to retreat. He followed them and in the vicinity of Znojmo where archduke Charles made his halt, last battle of the campaign took place but was ceased with the armistice. The peace treaty was signed only on October 14th in Schoenbrunn and brought another heavy stroke to Austrian politics and economy. For four years Austria became the compulsory French ally. In 1810, this was confirmed by the marriage of the Emperor Napoleon and Emperor Francis´ daughter Marie Louise.
Here is description of this episode in the battle (Info: article about field master Heinrich xv, prince to Reuß-Plaunen on www.napoleon-online.de):
"... Already at 9 o´clock in the morning on 10 July 1809 began heated combat by Schöngraben and Znaim, when troops of prince Reuß were attacked of followup-end French and Bavarian troops of the marshals Marmont and Masséna . On the following day 11 for July the prince held Znaim , the Thaya bridge which was ramming as well as occupies the heights behind Klosterbruck and of Klein-Tesswitz and defended himself very courageously up to that instant, when in the evening by an armistice hostilities were finally stopped...".
Friedrich (Fritz) Wilhelm L´Allemand (1812 Hanau - 1866 Vienna) was renowed Austrian battle, military and portrait painter; uncle of painter Sigmund l´Allemand. In 1826 he settled in Vienna, studied at the Viennese academy; 1842 in Duesseldorf and Munich. Popular battle painter of the high aristocracy , in the order of austrian king house he created panoramic battle paintings from austrian campaigns in 1809 ( napoleonic wars), 1849 (in Italy), 1864 (Schleswig-Holstein in war again Denmark) , battle graphic series " The Austrian army in the course of two centuries" and numerous uniform studies. His wall paintings situated in the Vienna Imperor summer residence Schoenbrunn and in the Hofmuseum in Vienna.
Provenance: Hofmuseum in Vienna (untill 1900s); The painting was exhibited in the exhibitions: of Viennese academy in 1845 and Art academy in Munich in 1854 and in 1858; Cecilia Glück Estate ( see original label of property on the stretcher); Sale on 24 may 2007 by auction house Christies/London .
Literature: "Malerwerke des 19 Jahrhunderts" by Friedrich von Boetticher, Leipzig, 1891; Thieme/Becker"Allgemeines Lexikon der bildenden Künstler von der Antike bis zur Gegenwart"; Prof.H.Fuchs "Austrian Maler des 19 Jahrhunderts", Vienna, 1975.
Inscription: signed and dated " F.W.Allemand, Wien ,1845 " lower left.
Technique: oil on canvas , original period gold-plated frame
Measurements: unframed 57 3/4" x 42 1/2" (147 x 108 cm); framed w 67 3/4" x h 52 3/4"(172 x 134 cm)
Condition: in good condition, canvas was in the past professional relined.