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.