09 Works, Today, April 29th. is artist Pedro Américo’s day, his story, illustrated with footnotes #118

Pedro Américo (1843–1905)
Batalha de Campo Grande/ Battle of Campo Grande, c. 1871

Oil on canvas
Height: 332 cm (10.8 ft); Width: 530 cm (17.3 ft)
Imperial Museum of Brazil

The Battle of Acosta Ñu or Campo Grande was a battle during the Paraguayan War, fought on August 16, 1869, between the Triple Alliance and Paraguay. The 3,500 poorly armed Paraguayans, mostly boys between nine and 15 years old, many wearing false beards, old men and wounded combatants, confronted 20,000 Brazilian veteran soldiers.

The Allied troops met the rearguard of the Paraguayan forces at Acosta Ñu on August 16. The battle started at 0800. The initial charge was led by the Allied 1st Corps infantry, supported by artillery. As the Paraguayans retreated across the Yagari River, the 4th Cavalry Brigade made a right flanking movement. Meanwhile, the 2nd Corps reached the Paraguayan rear, which left them no means to retreat. Children were said to cling to the legs of Brazilian soldiers amidst the raging battle, pleading for mercy, only to be decapitated without hesitation. Once all flanks collapsed, the wounded children tried to flee the battlefield alongside their relatives. Yet the Brazilian commander ordered his cavalry to cut the retreat and set the battlefield ablaze, including the field hospital. Large numbers of children died because of these actions. More on this painting

Pedro Américo de Figueiredo e Melo (29 April 1843–7 October 1905) was a Brazilian novelist, poet, scientist, art theorist, essayist, philosopher, politician and professor, but is best remembered as one of the most important academic painters of Brazil…

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