This is a later version of A Great Sacrifice (Milan, Pinacoteca di Brera), a painting of similar size presented at the Esposizione di Belle Arti dell’Accademia di Brera in 1860. It shows a follower of Garibaldi bidding farewell to his aged mother before his departure, perhaps as one of the thousand volunteers who set sail from Quarto for southern Italy in May 1860 and played a crucial part in the defeat of the army of the Bourbon sovereign Francesco II, thus paving the way for the proclamation of the Kingdom of Italy the following year. Drawing inspiration from the struggle for national liberation and unification known as the Risorgimento, the subject belongs to the type of genre painting radically renewed by Gerolamo and Domenico Induno, who had played a leading part in the wars of independence and gave the epic events of the period a concrete and human face. The rich iconography thus developed can also be seen in other works in the Cariplo Collection, such as The Return of the Wounded Soldier, The Sentry and The Follower of Garibaldi. The figures in these works always are portrayed with the same marked degree of realism as can be seen in the Farewell, where even the smallest details of the domestic furnishings are captured so as to create a touching sense of familiarity. The deft combination of colours and the airy effect of light created by the clear sky outside the window heighten the overall impression made by the work.