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Wassilij Wassiljewitsch Wereschtschagin
Wassilij Wassiljewitsch Wereschtschagin   /    RUSSIAN paınter

Vasily Vasilyevich Vereshchagin (October 26, 1842 – April 13, 1904), was one of the most famous Russian war artists and one of the first Russian artists to be widely recognised abroad. The graphic nature of his realist scenes led to many of them never being printed or exhibited

Vereshchagin was born at Cherepovets, Novgorod Governorate, Russia, in 1842 as the middle of three brothers. His father was a landowner of noble birth, while his mother was of common origin and had Tatar roots. When he was eight years old, he was sent to Tsarskoe Selo to enter the Alexander Cadet Corps. Three years later, he entered the Sea Cadet Corps at St Petersburg, making his first voyage in 1858.  He served on the frigate Kamchatka, which sailed to Denmark, France and Egypt.

Vereshchagin graduated first in his list at the naval school, but left the service immediately to begin the study of drawing in earnest. Two years later, in 1863, he won a medal from the St Petersburg Academy for his Ulysses Slaying the Suitors. In 1864, he proceeded to Paris, where he studied under Jean-Léon Gérôme, though he dissented widely from his master's methods


In the Paris Salon of 1866, Vereshchagin exhibited a drawing of Dukhobors chanting their Psalms. In the next year, he was invited to accompany General Konstantin Kaufman's expedition to Turkestan. He was granted the rank of ensign. His heroism at the siege of Samarkand from June 2–8, 1868 resulted an award of the Cross of St George (4th class). He was an indefatigable traveller, returning to St Petersburg in late 1868, to Paris in 1869, back to St Petersburg later in the year, and then back to Turkestan via Siberia at the end of 1869.

With the start of the Russo-Turkish War (1877–1878), Vereshchagin left Paris and returned to active service with the Imperial Russian Army. He was present at the crossing of the Shipka Pass and at the Siege of Plevna, where his brother was killed. He was dangerously wounded during the preparations for the crossing of the Danube near Rustchuk. At the conclusion of the war, he acted as secretary to General Skobelev at San Stefano.

After the war, Vereshchagin settled in Munich, where he produced his war pictures so rapidly that he was freely accused of employing assistants. The sensational subjects of his pictures, and their didactic aim, namely, the promotion of peace by a representation of the horrors of war, attracted a large section of the public not usually interested in art to the series of exhibitions of his pictures in Paris in 1881 and subsequently in London, Berlin, Dresden, Vienna and other cities

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By the Fortress Wall. "Let Them Enter"    1871

Height: 96 cm (37.7 in); Width: 162.2 cm (63.8 in)

Collection: Tretyakov Gallery


Napoleon near Borodino (1897)

Height: 107 cm (42.1 in); Width: 157 cm (61.8 in)

Collection: State Historical Museum

They Attack Unaware   1871

Height: 82 cm (32.2 in); Width: 206.7 cm (81.3 in)

Collection: Tretyakov Gallery  

Before the attack. At Plevna    1881  Tretyakov Gallery

The Road of the War Prisoners   1879

Height: 202.6 cm (79.7 in) ; Width: 320.5 cm (10.5 ft) 

Collection: Brooklyn Museum

Two hawks (Bashi-bazouk)   1878

Height: 78.5 cm (30.9 in); Width: 110 cm (43.3 in)

Collection: Kyiv National Picture Gallery

The Apotheosis of War  1871

Height: 127 cm (50 in) ; Width: 197 cm (77.5 in) 

Collection: Tretyakov Gallery

1872 Vereshchagin Triumphierend anagoria

After the attack. Plevna, 1877

Battlefield at the Shipka Pass   1878

sHeight: 147 cm (57.8 in); Width: 299 cm (117.7 in)

Collection:  Tretyakov Gallery

Presentation of the trophies   1872

Height: 67.3 in (170.9 cm) ; Width: 94.4 in (240 cm) 

Collection: Tretyakov Gallery  

Dervishes in Festive Attire   1870

Height: 71.6 cm (28.1 in); Width: 47.2 cm (18.5 in)

Collection:  Tretyakov Gallery  

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