While not depicting a French event, the tiumph of the trodden over the mighty can be tied to a reminiscent look at Voltaire’s ideas of liberty and the ongoing struggle between political powers in France. A dynamic, swirling evocation of a surprise attack, Eugène Delacroix's preparatory study for a larger canvas is a thrilling demonstration of the artist's energetic handling of the brush and his phenomenal prowess both as a colorist and as a composer of form. The scene imagines the daring assault on the night of August 21-22, 1823, made by a band of 240 Greek freedom fighters against some 4,000 encamped Turkish soldiers. The attack overwhelmed the unprepared army and became a significant battle in the Greek War of Independence (1821-1827) against the ruling Ottoman Empire. Though a stunning victory for the Greek cause, the leader Marcos Botzaris was mortally wounded during the struggle. Delacroix shows Botzaris in the center, dramatically falling while his loyal comrades come to his assistance. As dawn breaks over the distant mountains, the pitched conflict rages around Botzaris: a cannon is hurriedly prepared, the stunned occupants of a tent are felled by sword, and unattended horses bolt aimlessly. The circumstances of Botzaris's heroic death became a rallying point for European support of the struggling Greeks. Already in April 1824, Delacroix recorded in his diary his desire to portray the event, for which he executed a watercolor and a number of drawing studies, showing his interest in contemporaneous events displaying the triumph of the trodden over that of the mighty, a theme which can be translated to French life in Delacroix's time.Yet it was not until thirty-five years later that he returned to the subject.