Densely painted, this painting depicts a battle with figures both on foot and on horseback. Fallen figures in the foreground are mirrored by a line of figures still engaged in combat in the futher distance. The rump of a white horse at the left is balanced by another pale horse and rider (with banner) that approaches the viewer at right.
A study for one of Decamps' most important works that was exhibitied in the Salon of 1834, this work depicts a battle in 101BCE of the Roman consul Marius against the Germanic tribe of the Cimbri. In palette and composition, this painting recalls the battle scenes of Delacroix.
Three warriors march forward, taking up nearly the entire frame. Blue soldiers carring weapons and shields bring up the front and rear. They appear to move through a stylized tree landscape.
This scene likely depicts a moment in book six when the armies of the Pandavas and Kauravas meet prior to charging into a battle for the throne. The war, known as the Kurukshetra War, lasted eighteen days and at its end the Kaurava army had fallen and the Pandavas were free to reclaim their throne. Their victory, however, was incomplete as a member of the Kaurava army had snuck into their camp and killed the warriors and children he found there, leaving the Pandavas without an heir to the throne they had fought so hard to win.