This early military work from the Napoleon Russian campaign in 1812 depicts the episode with frozen French soldiers during their retreat from Moscow. On the background can be see Russian cossacks on horseback’s. Due to the fully similarity of subject, manner and time of creation we attributed this rare painting to the hand of Stuttgart military painter and major general Christian Wilhelm von Faber du Faur (1780 - 1857), who participated in the Russian campaign and was eyewitness of French retreat from Russia after the battle Borodino by Moscow. Unfortunately, we found only 2 his oil paintings indicated in the lexicon by Thieme/Becker but style of his known watercolours and graphic works (see our additional images) give us confidence to attributed our work to his hand.
In 1809 he entered voluntarily in the Wuerrtemberg army and became a second lieutenant in the light infantry. In terms of education and drawing talent, he was transferred to artillery the following year.In 1812 he took part in the Russian campaign under Napoleon as a lieutenant in the French III. Army Corps, which was a part of the Württemberger Rheinbund contingent was subordinate. He made almost daily sketches, which he published in 1831 together with Major Kausler.The work "With Napoleon in Russia" contains a large number of colored drawings that represent the entire campaign and the retreat, thus preserving the character of an eyewitness account. He became a member of the French Legion of Honor and was one of only 1000 Württemberg soldiers who survived the campaign healthy.In 1829 he was promoted to Major, 1836 to Lieutenant Colonel, 1840 Colonel and 1849 Major General. Since 1839 he was military representative of Württemberg at the Military Commission of the German Confederation in Frankfurt. In 1844, Christian Wilhelm von Faber du Faur was awarded the Comment Cross of the Order of the Württemberg Crown, which was associated with the personal nobility title.Works (in German): Napoleons Feldzug in Russland 1812. Schmidt & Günther, Leipzig 1897; "Mit Napoleon in Rußland 1812. Blätter aus meinem Portefeuillea", Stuttgart/Hamburg 1987.
Literature: Thieme/Becker "Allgemeines Lexikon der bildenden Künsler..", Leipzig, 1999 ; on-line Wikipedia in German.
Technique: oil on canvas . Original period gold-plated frame.
Measurements: unframed w 15 1/3 " x h 11 1/3" (39 x 29 cm), framed w 19 7/8" x h 16 1/8 " (50,5 x 41 cm).
Condition: in very good condition.