Franco Prussian War Oil on Board by G. Thorsbaek 1897

PRESENTING a HISTORICAL and UNIQUE depiction of a Battle during the Franco-Prussian War by G. Thorsbaek 1897.

Signed and dated by the artist on the bottom right.

This ORIGINAL oil on board is in it’s original frame and depicts Prussian Cavalry charging French Artillery positions during the France-Prussian War of 1870.

Although painted some 27 years after the war it is SUPERB in it’s execution and detail.

Little is known about the artist, G. Thorsbaek but what we do know is that he was a 19th Century Danish artist.


The Franco-Prussian War or Franco-German War (FrenchGuerre franco-allemande de 1870GermanDeutsch-Französischer Krieg), often referred to in France as the War of 1870, was a conflict between the Second French Empire and later the Third French Republic, and the German states of the North German Confederation led by the Kingdom of Prussia. Lasting from 19 July 1870 to 28 January 1871, the conflict was caused by Prussian ambitions to extend German unification and French fears of the shift in the European balance of power that would result if the Prussians succeeded. Some historians argue that the Prussian chancellor Otto von Bismarck deliberately provoked the French into declaring war on Prussia in order to draw the independent southern German states—BadenWürttembergBavaria and Hesse-Darmstadt—into an alliance with the North German Confederation dominated by Prussia, while others contend that Bismarck did not plan anything and merely exploited the circumstances as they unfolded. None, however, dispute the fact that Bismarck must have recognized the potential for new German alliances, given the situation as a whole. [9]

On 16 July 1870, the French parliament voted to declare war on Prussia and hostilities began three days later when French forces invaded German territory. The German coalition mobilised its troops much more quickly than the French and rapidly invaded northeastern France. The German forces were superior in numbers, had better training and leadership and made more effective use of modern technology, particularly railroads and artillery.

A series of swift Prussian and German victories in eastern France, culminating in the Siege of Metz and the Battle of Sedan, saw French Emperor Napoleon III captured and the army of the Second Empire decisively defeated. A Government of National Defence declared the Third French Republic in Paris on 4 September and continued the war for another five months; the German forces fought and defeated new French armies in northern France. Following the Siege of Paris, the capital fell on 28 January 1871, and then a revolutionary uprising called the Paris Commune seized power in the city and held it for two months, until it was bloodily suppressed by the regular French army at the end of May 1871.

The German states proclaimed their union as the German Empire under the Prussian king Wilhelm I, finally uniting Germany as a nation-state. The Treaty of Frankfurt of 10 May 1871 gave Germany most of Alsace and some parts of Lorraine, which became the Imperial territory of Alsace-Lorraine (Reichsland Elsaß-Lothringen). The German conquest of France and the unification of Germany upset the European balance of power that had existed since the Congress of Vienna in 1815, and Otto von Bismarck maintained great authority in international affairs for two decades. French determination to regain Alsace-Lorraine and fear of another Franco-German war, along with British apprehension about the balance of power, became factors in the causes of World War I.


Franco Prussian War Oil on Board by G. Thorsbaek 1897

Provenance: From a Dallas Private Collection.

Condition: Near Mint.

Dimensions: 23″ Wide, 16.25″ Tall and 2.5″ Deep


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