Inscribed, in plate, lower right: affaire de CHATILLON ANDRIEUX 1870 SEPTEMBRE
In 1870, fearing a shift in the balance of European powers, the French Empire declared war on the Prussian Empire. Within a year, the conflict led to French loss of territory and general devastation of northern France, culminating in the sacking of Paris in 1871. The Germans invaded the city of Châtillon, near Paris, in September of 1870, destroying the city. This print chronicles a brief moment from the ravaging: German soldiers march triumphantly down the streets, past the French dead prostrate on the ground. One man in the foreground lies at the feet of a soldier who prepares to shoot once more. Amid the rubble in the background, the sign for a wine shop comes into focus, suggesting that it is civilians and their livelihoods that are under attack. Made three years after the end of the Franco-Prussian War, the etching reflects on the horrible defeat of the city and of the nation more broadly.
From the 2023 exhibition Recording War: Images of Violence 1500 – 1900, curated by Elizabeth Rice Mattison, Andrew W. Mellon Associate Curator of Academic Programming
Recording War: Images of Violence, 1500-1900, Ivan Albright Gallery, Hood Museum of Art, Dartmouth College, Hanover, New Hampshire, August 23-December 9, 2023.
Source unknown; catalogued, 1974.
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