Charles XII of Sweden and Ivan Mazepa after The Battle of Poltava (1880) by the Swedish painter Gustav Cederström (1845-1933).
Charles XII had waged war against many countries and some people even compared him with Alexander the Great. Finally he let his troops deep into the south of Russia, where he lost the decisive battle of Poltava which was the beginning of the end. Cederström shows here the defeated and wounded king with his ally Mazepa the Hetman of the Ukrainian Cossacks. Mazepa is pointing to the south, to Turkey where new allies could be found.
Sweden was lost but the adventure went on.
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