The Return of the Wounded Soldier

Domenico Induno1854/1854

Fondazione Cariplo

Fondazione Cariplo
Milan, Italy

This work is a variation of the larger painting The Call-up of the Follower of Garibaldi (1854, Lonigo Vicentino, Villa Godi Valmarana, Malinverni Collection) and is inspired by a classic theme associated with the epic of the Risorgimento, which was one of the favourite subjects of the brothers Domenico and Gerolamo Induno. The painting depicts a soldier who has just been discharged because of the wounds he has received in battle. In the larger painting he is holding the call-up paper in his hand, while here it is probably his official discharge. In both cases, his imminent departure and forced return, Induno depicts the painful situation of a war volunteer in the privacy of his humble home. He is equally distressed by the idea of leaving his dear ones and by not being able to serve the cause of independence as a follower of Giuseppe Garibaldi. The artist took part in the Cinque Giornate uprising in Milan in 1848 and was forced into exile in subsequent years, while his brother followed Giacomo Medici’s volunteers to Rome. Induno’s personal experience of the events of the Risorgimento and the feelings that inspired them are expressed in scenes of heightened realism in his genre painting, as in this interior, which is true to life in every detail and contains figures in traditional costume. The light coming in through the window, beyond which a clear sky can be seen, and the colours chosen to accentuate the soldier’s red tunic heighten the pathos of the narrative with a skill similar to that found in other paintings of historical subjects like The Tale of the Wounded Soldier (1862, private collection), but also genre scenes painted in the same period, such as Mother’s Help (1857, Padua, Musei Civici).


  • Title: The Return of the Wounded Soldier
  • Creator: Domenico Induno
  • Creator Lifespan: 1815/1878
  • Creator Nationality: Italian
  • Creator Gender: Male
  • Creator Death Place: Milan
  • Creator Birth Place: Milan
  • Date: 1854/1854
  • Signature: D.o Induno
  • Physical Dimensions: w53 x h42,4 cm (Without frame)
  • Exhibition: Gallerie d'Italia, Piazza Scala, 6, Milano
  • Provenance: Cariplo Foundation, 1970
  • Type: Painting, oil on canvas
  • Rights: http://www.artgate-cariplo.it/en/disclaimer.html
  • External Link: www.artgate-cariplo.it

Get the app

Explore museums and play with Art Transfer, Pocket Galleries, Art Selfie, and more

Flash this QR Code to get the app
Google apps