Object Image
Object Image

Napoleon at Moscow: "The Command of God to Retreat"

This is the only known sculpture by Solon Borglum that depicts a non-American figure. Borglum also created a marble replica, which was purchased by the George F. Harding Museum in Chicago. The bowed heads of Napoleon and his horse evoke sympathy as the commander of the French army trudges through the snow after his defeat at Moscow. Borglum's choice to portray Napoleon at the lowest point of his military career may suggest how the artist himself was feeling at the time, as this was a period when commissions were few. But the title may have been a testament to the artist's faith in God's plan, and in fact, Borglum did enjoy success again. (A. Mervyn Davies, Solon H. Borglum: A Man Who Stands Alone, 1974)

Credit: Gift of Monica B. Davies and Paul Borglum in memory of Mrs. M. Nash Bly

70.9 x 23.0 x 65.4 cm
Image and text: Smithsonian American Art Museum, 2024

Where you'll find this

Smithsonian American Art Museum