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Life is like a journey. The Tretyakov Gallery presents a large-scale exhibition of works by Vasily Vereshchagin

March 7, 2018 in the New Tretyakov Gallery on Krymsky Val, a grandiose retrospective of the works by artist Vasily Vereshchagin will open. About 500 exhibits of the exposition are built in series devoted to the artist's journeys and campaigns: Balkan, Indian, Japanese series ... We talk about the events in the life of Vereshchagin during these voyages, military and research, and watch the work of the master.The aim of the curators of the exhibition is to reveal to the public the unique personality of Vasily Vereshchagin, a warrior and pacifist, a passionate explorer of new geographical landscapes, countries and people; painter, who managed to radically transform the genre of battle paintings in the visual arts.
The scale of the exhibition is grandiose: the audience is represented by about 500 exhibits, including 180 paintings and 120 graphic works, 97 works of decorative and applied art, archival documents, photographs. Works for the exhibition in the New Tretyakov Gallery provided 24 collections, including 19 Russian and 1 foreign museum, as well as 4 private collections. The works are shown in series devoted to the campaigns and travels of Vereshchagin: Turkestan, Balkan, Indian series, Russian North, Japanese series . The cycle "Trilogy of Executions" and "The Palestinian Series" will be special sections at the exhibition. Following this method of exhibiting, the curators of the exhibition take into account the desire of the artist himself to preserve the integrity of each series and the inseparability of their display at exhibitions.SamarkandVasily Vasilyevich Vereshchagin1870, 43 × 51 cm

Turkestan series

The Turkestan series was presented to the public at the first personal exhibition of Vasily Vereshchagin, which was held in 1873 in London. A year later, she was presented in St. Petersburg and Moscow. The series included thirteen paintings, eighty-one etude etude - an educational sketch that the artist uses to study nature. Such a recipe for the artist, where everything is simple and clear. An etude is written quickly, precisely, schematically, literally on the knee - this is a proven way to touch the world and catalog it. But the status of etude in the history of art is so unstable that sometimes it acquires a value much more than the final picture, for which he served as a help. He is surrounded by a serious wide frame - and hoisted on the museum walls. So in what case is an etude a student warm-up, and in which is an independent, lively and valuable work? Read more and one hundred and thirty-three drawings. It was the absolute success of the new Russian school of painting, a breath of fresh air after the stifling decades of worship of academicism. According to Ivan Kramsky, the Turkestan series is a brilliant success of the new Russian school, its unconditional achievement, “highly elevating the spirit of the Russian man”, forcing the heart to beat “pride that Vereshchagin is Russian, it’s completely Russian”.Vasily Vasilyevich Vereshchagin, a rich Kyrgyz hunter with a falcon, 1871, 113 × 72.2 cm After the success of the exhibition, there were people who wanted to buy separate paintings, but Vereshchagin insisted on acquiring the entire series. And such a buyer was found: Pavel Tretyakov bought it in 1874, the series cost him 92 thousand rubles. The Turkestan series of works by Vereshchagin was opened to the public in the Moscow Society of Art Lovers. After the new buildings were built, the collection moved to the Tretyakov Gallery.At the fortress wall. "Let them enter" Vasily Vasilyevich Vereshchagin 1871, 95 × 160.5 cm. How did Vereshchagin get to Turkestan? In 1867, the commander of the Turkestan Military District, General Kaufman, was looking for an artist who would accompany him on trips around Central Asia. Vereshchagin seized the opportunity. In addition to the thirst for new experiences and passion for travel, they were driven by another motive - “to find out what a true war is, about which I read and heard a lot, and near which I was in the Caucasus”. Well, the emir of Bukhara, who was in Samarkand, declared a “holy war” to the Russians. The battle for Samarkand was short. The emir’s troops, which had suffered serious damage, withdrew, giving the Russian soldiers the opportunity to freely enter the city. Most of the Russian troops soon left Samarkand, Vereshchagin remained in the fortress with a garrison of 500 people.Parliamentarians. "Surrender!" - “Get the hell out of it!” Vasily Vasilyevich Vereshchagin 1873, 58.4 × 74 cm Soon the local population, incited by the mullahs, moved to the assault: the emir pulled tens of thousands to a defenseless (as it seemed to him) fortress. The assault lasted almost a week. Exhausted, discouraged soldiers were ready to retreat under the onslaught of an innumerable enemy. However, when the fortress wall was breached, Ensign Vereshchagin not only managed to repel the attack, but also to raise fellow soldiers in a counter-offensive. For the heroism shown during the defense of the Samarkand fortress, Vasily Vereshchagin was awarded the Cross of St. George. But the main thing - one week of the Samarkand siege played a decisive role in shaping his views, determined his entire future life. Before the last breath, one of the most important battle-painters in the history of painting paradoxically hated the war and everything connected with it.The apotheosis of the warVasily Vasilyevich Vereshchagin1871, 127 × 197 cm “... Like Hemingway, Vereshchagin believed that writing was only what you know from personal experience. He physically could not sit still and simply could not stand aside ... ”- read the full biographical essay about Vasily Vereshchagin in Arthive.Dervishes in festive dressesVasily Vasilyevich Vereshchagin1870, 71 × 47 cmVasily Vasilyevich Vereshchagin1872, 195.5 × 257 cm triumphPortrait of bachiVasily Vasilyevich Vereshchagin1868, 27 × 20.5 cmChoir of dervishes asking for alms. TashkentVasily Vasilyevich Vereshchagin1870, 71 × 49 cmBukhara soldier (sarbaz) Vasily Vasilyevich Vereshchagin1873, 90.7 × 66 cmThe eunuch at the door of the haremVasily Vasilyevich Vereshchagin1870-e, 93 × 47 cmMullah Rahim and Mullah Kerim on their way to the bazaar are arguingVasily Vasilyevich Vereshchagin1873, 98 × 114.8 cm

Indian series

After the Russian presentation of the Turkestan series, Vasily Vereshchagin goes to India. It was an artist’s old dream; he carefully prepared for this journey. Together with Vereshchagin, his wife, Elizabeth Maria Fisher-Reed, set off. For two years, they visited Bombay and Agra, Delhi and Jaipur, visited the principality of Sikkim and the Kashmir and Ladakh regions bordering on Tibet.Vasiliy Vasilyevich Vereshchagin, a mountain stream in Kashmir1875, 28 × 24 cm Together with the guides, the artist began his journey to Sikkim in winter; Attempts to conquer the highest mountain peaks of this area turned out to be fatal for Vereshchagin. From Vereshchagin's notes: “Whoever was not in such a climate, at such a height, he cannot get a clue about the blueness of the sky, this is something amazing, incredible, the paint is stronger than any pure cobalt, it is almost ultramarine with a small dose of carmine. The pink and white snow against this background is a striking contrast. ” The artist worked day and night, without parting with brushes and paints.Glacier on the road from Kashmir to Ladakh. EtudeVasily Vasilyevich Vereshchagin1875, 40 × 28.2 cmIn the course of his travels Vereshchagin created about 150 sketches. The artist was delighted with India, he eagerly absorbed and sketched everything: people and landscapes, domestic scenes and the architecture of temple complexes. Bright and sunny, luxurious, exotic India - in every canvas of this Vereshchaginskaya series.A cart of rich people in Vasiliy Vasilyevich Delish Vasilyevich Vereshchagin1875, 28 × 41 cmFakirVasily Vasilyevich Vereshchagin1876, 24.2 × 18.7 cmBuddhist lama at the festival in the monasteryVasily Vasilyevich Vereshchagin1875, 40 × 28 cmHimalayas. The main peak. EtudeVasily Vasilyevich Vereshchagin1875, 20 × 28.7 cmThrone Hall of the Great Moguls Shah Jahan and Aurang Zeb in the Fort Delhi Vasily Vasilyevich Vereshchagin 1875, 39 × 45.5 cmGate near Qutub Minar. Old Deli Vasily Vasilyevich Vereshchagin1875, 36.5 × 28.6 cmBrahmin temple in AdelnurVasily Vasilyevich Vereshchagin1876, 27 × 39 cmFakirVasily Vasilyevich Vereshchagin1876, 24.2 × 18.8 cmBhil (Bhila is one of the mountain tribes of the Deccan) Vasily Vasilyevich Vereshchagin 1874, 36 × 27 cm

Balkan series

The Russian-Turkish war for the liberation of the Balkan peoples from Ottoman rule found Vereshchagin near Paris, where he worked on the Indian series in his workshop in Maison-Laffitte. The Balkan war caused an unprecedented wave of patriotism among the Russian society, including the creative intelligentsia. In April 1877, the artist voluntarily went to the front.Picket in the BalkansVasily Vasilyevich Vereshchagin1878, 47 × 38 cm Iron nerves, unyielding character, unquenchable thirst for adventure. Basil Vereshchagin rarely climbed the word in his pocket. More often, he reached into his pocket for a revolver. Read in our material "7 action stories about Vasily Vereshchagin."Shipka-Sheinovo (Skobelev under Shipka). Later repetition of the same picture by Vasily Vasilyevich Vereshchagin 1880s, 188 × 405 cm A distinctive feature of the battle painting of Vereshchagin on the theme of the Russian-Turkish war was the choice of plot, when most often the picture depicted not the very moment of the military collision, the height of the battle, but the episodes preceding the battle or following behind him. The Balkan canvases are executed according to the type of natural panoramic views, against the background of which the ruthless scenes of the “theater of military operations” unfolded, without fake falsehood and contrived patriotism.The winnersVasily Vasilyevich Vereshchagin1878, 180 × 301 cm “... To fulfill the goal I set myself ..., - to give society pictures of a real, genuine war is impossible, looking at the battle through binoculars from the beautiful is far, but you need to feel and do everything yourself - to participate in attacks, storms, victories, defeats, to experience hunger, cold, illness, wounds ... you need not to be afraid to sacrifice your blood ... otherwise my pictures will be "not that" ”Vasily Vereshchagin. “Memories of the Russian-Turkish war of 1877”Conquered PanikhidaVasily Vasilyevich Vereshchagin1879, 179 × 300 cm

"Russian North"

From the mid-1880s, Vereshchagin enthusiastically studies Old Russian architecture, collects Russian antiquities, and actively participates in the architectural life of Moscow. He travels around Russia, visits his native places, and in the summer of 1894 with his family goes sailing on a barge along the Northern Dvina. On this trip, the artist creates more than fifty sketches, as well as the original literary essay "Illustrated autobiographies of several unremarkable Russian people", in which conversation with the portrait complements, in fact, the portrait itself - a realistic genre depicting an existing person or group of people. The portrait - in the French reading - portrait, from the old French portraire - "reproduce something line in line." Another facet of the name of the portrait lies in the outdated word "parsuna" - from the Latin. persona - "person; person". Read more .Northern DvinaVasily Vasilyevich Vereshchagin1894, 27 × 39 cmZyryaninVasily Vasilyevich Vereshchagin1894, 39 × 29 cmIcon of Nikola from the upper reaches of the river Pinegi Vasily Vasilyevich Vereshchagin 1894, 27 × 21 cmInterior view of the wooden church of Peter and Paul in Puchug. EtudeVasily Vasilyevich Vereshchagin1894, 38 × 29 cmThe carved pillar in the refectory Petropavlovsk church in the village of Puchugi, Vologda province. EtudeVasily Vasilyevich Vereshchagin1894, 29 × 19 cm

Japanese series

Vereshchagin had already celebrated his sixtieth anniversary, when military events began to mature in the Far East. Following the convictions, the artist left his family and in September 1903 arrived in Vladivostok, from there he went to Japan by boat. On a rail trip to Tokyo and Nikko, he was accompanied by New Zealand writer Downey Steward.Shinto temple in Nikko Vasily Vasilyevich Vereshchagin 1904, 45 × 61 cmV letter to his wife Vereshchagin wrote: "... According to all the reviews from Japan and the fleet and ground forces are very good, so she ... cause us much evil ... because they are angry and will lead the war ruthlessly , our good-natured nation is not capable of this, and, of course, it will try "not to harm very much". Everything is ready for the war, while we have nothing ready, we must take everything from St. Petersburg ... ”Walk in a boatVasily Vasilyevich Vereshchagin1903, 70 × 103 cm After two months Vereshchagin returned to Russia; from the trip he brought several picturesque sketches created from nature and dedicated to the peaceful life of the Japanese. Works are performed at the junction of impressionism and realism - the artist discovered a new style of writing, the richness of color and light.In February 1904, Vereshchagin again travels to the Far East with the train of Grand Duke Boris Vladimirovich. He takes part in hostilities with Japan after her attack on the Russian fleet.
Vasily Vereshchagin did not have time to write a single battle scene: he died in Port Arthur during the explosion of the Petropavlovsk flagship on March 31, 1904. According to the testimony of the survivors, a few minutes before the explosion, Vasily Vasilyevich went up to the deck with a hiking album - he died with his main weapon in his hands.Vasily Vereshchagin. Photo of 1902. The exhibition "Vasily Vereshchagin" in New Tretyakov Gallery will be held from March 7 to July 15, 2018. Does your attention have a reportage from the opening: what surprises did the exhibition advance as the key event of the year at the museum? Arthive: read us in Telegram and watch on Instagram: Title illustration: Vasily Vereshchagin. "Taj Mahal mausoleum in Agra". 1876. Prepared based on the press release and the official blog of the Tretyakov Gallery, as well as publications (biographies of Vasily Vereshchanig) in Arthive (by Andrei Zimoglyadov).