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“The End of the Battle of Borodino”, Vasily Vereshchagin – description of the painting

Description of the picture:

The end of the battle of Borodino – Vasily Vasilyevich Vereshchagin. 1899-1900. Canvas, oil. 165 x 229 cm
The epic painting “The End of the Battle of Borodino” by Vasily Vereshchagin, written around 1899-1900, is part of the well-known series of paintings, bearing the generalized name “1812th Year”. The cycle consists of twenty completely completed canvases, as well as a huge number of studies, sketches and sketches.

Rich life experience and knowledge of military realities firsthand forced Vereshchagin to abandon the established canons of writing historical battle scenes. His paintings surprised contemporaries by the absence of a formal gloss and tough, frank naturalism. In order to create a realistic, living canvas, the battle-painter painstakingly studied historical documents, literary sources and military maps relating to the Patriotic War of 1812. Vereshchagin, getting to work, sought, first of all, to express his own attitude to the war, a personal look at the events of the past years.

Throughout his life, the masters have been worried about large-scale, deep problems. In the war, Vereshchagin saw enormous world evil and tried with all his might to express internal pain, anger and indignation, which were associated with the artist’s firm conviction of the immorality of the rulers and commanders responsible for the deaths of 80 thousand soldiers during the Borodino battle.

The historical painting “The End of the Battle of Borodino” represents the tragic outcome of the battle of Borodino. In the foreground are the soldiers of the Napoleonic army frantically glorifying their emperor, standing on the mound of a captured redoubt. A terrible contrast is the central plan of the picture – the moat before strengthening is literally littered with human bodies. A bloody mess of fragments of weapons, uniforms, arms, legs, faces distorted by suffering and deadly torment is a crazy, bitter and pointlessly high price for the ambitions and ambition of the French adventurer-conqueror."

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