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Lithograph by Chevalier Giacomelli Depicting the Battle of Solferino

The Battle of Solferino, also known as The Battle of the Three Emperors, is virtually unknown to Americans. The Austrian army, led by Emperor Francis (Franz)-Joseph marched across northern Italy where it was opposed by the French army under Napoleon III and the Sardinian army led by Victor Emmanuel II. This battle was a decisive engagement in the Austro-Sardinian War. The nationalist struggle to unify Italy was the geo-political context for the war. The nine hour battle resulted in tremendous loss of life on both sides. The horror of seeing wounded and dying soldiers being shot or bayoneted prompted Jean Henri Dunant, a witness to the slaughter, to begin a campaign that would eventually lead to the establishment of the Geneva Conventions and the founding of the International Red Cross.

The lithograph of the battle scene was created by Chevalier Giacomelli. The text and title are in German. The print shows the position of the various troops and regiments as they were arrayed on the battlefield. It was published by Lang & Lang Lith., 117 Fulton St., N.Y. The piece measures 18.5" wide x 11" high. There is a 1" tear on the left margin that has been taped on the back, a small tear at the intersection of the fold lines, a small tear on the right edge and some scattered foxing. (Stock number 003prSolferino) $50.00

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