Jean Duplessi-Bertaux

1747 – 1818

Napoleon (or, as more recent scholarship have suggested, General Charles Pierre Augereau) at the Battle of the Bridge of Arcola, Italy (15th-17th November 1796) during the Italian campaign of the French revolution


Oil on Canvas




32.3(h) x 41(w) cms


The Battle of Arcola was the third attempt by the Austrian forces of József Alvinczi to lift the Siege of Mantua, where Dagobert Sigmund von Wurmser was trapped with a large garrison. It ended in a further narrow French victory after the French outflanked the Austrians and cut off their retreat. Napoleon chased the half retreating Austrian army under Paul Davidovich up the Adige valley.

Philippe Bordes, formerly of the Museum of the French Revolution, has kindly confirmed the attribution to Duplessi-Bertaux [sic] on the basis of photographs, commenting that our painting might be the original rendition by the artist, as the details, notably the uniforms, are better understood in our painting than in some, signed, versions he has seen of this composition.