1899. Oil on canvas. The Russian Museum, St. Petersburg, Russia. More.
Crossing of the Alps by Russian Troops under Alexander Suvorov.
The subject of the picture is an episode of the Switzerland campaign of the Russian army at the end of XVIII century. In April 1799, to assist the Austrians against the French (the anti-France coalition included Russia, Austria, Britain, Turkey, and the Kingdom of Naples) Russian troops under Alexander Suvorov, after a quick and unexpected march, appeared in Italy and took Milan; on May 26 they took Turin; on 17-19 June in the battle at Trebbia they destroyed the army of Macdonald; on August 15 they defeated Joubert at Novi. Northern Italy was freed from the French, and Suvorov was ready to start war on French territory. But thanks to the narrow foresight of the rulers, who demanded to continue the campaign into Switzerland, the Europeans lost the chance of victory over France in the late 18th century. After a terrible crossing of the Alps, in which the Russians lost more soldiers than in military actions, the army was too weak for battle and Suvorov retreated into Austria