Arminius after the Battle at the Teutonburg Forest

Josef Bergler jun.

Josef Bergler jun. - Arminius after the Battle at the Teutonburg Forest
In 1803 commissioned from the painter for the Picture Gallery of the Society of Patriotic Friends of the Arts, acquired in 1813. The story from ancient history, which describes the military expedition of emperor Augustus, tempted Bergler already in 1800, date of the first preparatory drawing. Nine years later he finished, after this drawing, his largest picture. Wishing to add to the Roman Empire the Germanic territories between the Rhine and the Elbe (Labe), emperor Augustus sent three legions eastward to subjugate local Germanic tribes. Arminius (Hermann), son of the Cherusci chief, offered his services to the Romans and then lured their armies into the marshes of the Teutoburg Forest, where they were slaughtered and defeated by Germanic warriors. Bergler painted the moment of victory. Arminius, his wife Thuselde at his side, is surrounded by his warriors: they hail him, put a wreath of oak boughs on his head and at his feet place the captured war trophies. Bergler was inspired not only by the classical story told by Tacitus, but also by the first part of Friedrich Gottlieb Klopstock's historical trilogy Hermannschlacht (1769).
measurements: height 241 cm
width 304 cm
material: canvas
technique: oil
inventory number: O 71
gallery collection: Collection of 19th Century Art and Classical Modernism

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