D Pellegrini. “The Battle of Marengo representing that period of the Action in which General Desaix was mortally wounded…” London: Schiavonetti, June 1, 1802. Engraving and aquatint by N. Schiavonetti. 19 3/4 x 26. Some light surface discoloration, but overall very good condition.
A dramatic battle scene from the Battle of Marengo, June 14, 1800 [the text incorrectly gives a date of July 14, 1799], showing Napoleon listening to the last words of General Desaix, “tell the First Consul that I die with regret in having not done enough to live in the memory of posterity,” and urging his men to attack the Austrians with renewed vigor. The battle, between Napoleon’s French and the Austrians, was a close thing until Desaix arrived with his supporting troops, which allowed Napoleon win the day. This victory, forced the Austrians out of Italy and enhanced the reputation and power of Napoleon. This print was issued in London after the Treaty of Amiens (March 1802) established peace between France and Britain and shortly after a plebiscite approved a constitution which made the Napoleonic Consulate permanent, a point at which Napoleon’s reputation was at its highest at home and abroad.