Vasily Vereshchagin: how the artist fought against war?
the Famous Russian artist Vasily Vasilyevich Vereshchagin was born on October 26, 1842 in the city of Cherepovets.
Enthusiastic statements about works of the Russian painter of battle-pieces Vereshchagin of the Austrian writer, Nobel Prize laureate, public figure, the passionate fighter for peace Berta von Suttner are known: “ When I learned that the great Russian artist who struggled the brush with the same enemy against whom I turned the feather is in Vienna where he exposed a number of pictures, I hurried to the city to see the well-known works “.
“ On Shipka everything is quiet “ “ Deification of war “ - their names were that. Already the artist expressed the bitterness which along with pain owned his brush in names of pictures. The soldier standing on a post, forgotten in the snow desert, half brought by snow - here that Vereshchagin`s genius behind words of the famous report of the commander-in-chief saw: “ On Shipka everything is quiet “. A pyramid of skulls with the carrion crows turning over it - it so represented deification of war.
At the Vienna exhibition Vereshchagin often himself drove visitors from a picture to a picture and told how he created them and what at the same time thought of. Before many pictures visitors could not refrain from exclamations of horror. “ You probably think that it is exaggerated, - with a sigh Vasily Vasilyevich said. - No, the reality is much more terrible... “
Vereshchagin was often reproached that it displayed war from the bad, repellent party. It was exposed to attacks from reactionary circles of Russia and other countries. As though war has two parties: one - pleasant, attractive and another - ugly, repellent. There is only one war with one purpose: the enemy has to perestradat as much as possible, as much as possible people have to be killed, wounded and taken prisoner, the enemy has to receive blow behind blow, will not request mercy yet.
At the picture “ Deification of war “ Vereshchagin made an inscription small letters: “ It is devoted to conquerors of the past, present and future “. When the picture was exposed in Berlin, Moltke facing it quietly said: “ It concerns also to me... “
In other picture of Vereshchagin the road covered with deep snow from which there, hands and legs stick out here is represented. And this story also not the imagination of the artist. In the winter, in the last russko - the Turkish war, as well as during other winter military campaigns, roads on which there passed troops were covered with corpses. Who did not see it, it is difficult for that to believe in it.
Guns, artillery and other vehicles the wheels pressed unfortunate, still live, in a track then corpses were not taken out not to spoil the road, and vpressovyvatsya even more deeply during snow. The hands which only are sticking out sometimes and legs demonstrated that the road was a close cemetery.
Vereshchagin displayed in the pictures all that he happened to see, participating in russko - Turkish and russko - Japanese wars, in a gain the Russian troops of Central Asia. He met many such drama scenes before which, by its recognitions, it literally receded, without feeling an opportunity “ to force itself “ to display it on a cloth.
Here only one tragic episode from the artist`s life. His brother serving as the aide-de-camp at the general Skobelev was killed during the third storm near Plevna. The place where it fell, was occupied by the enemy, and Vasily Vasilyevich could not bury a body of the brother. Three months when Plevna was handed over later, he went to this place and found out that it is entirely covered with corpses, is more faithful skeletons. How many he looked for a look, saw only the shown skulls here and there, the skeletons covered with sackcloths and a tatter, somewhere afar indicating by hands. Which of them was his brother? He attentively examined the remains of clothes, a bone of skulls, empty eye-sockets... also did not sustain - tears rushed, and long could not constrain loud sobbings. But, to inform of all this horror people, the artist sat down and outlined the sketch of this place reminding Dantov`s pictures of hell.
At first Vereshchagin wanted to paint a picture with the figure among all these skeletons - it was impossible. Even year, two later as soon as it sat down at a cloth, smothered him the same tears and did not allow to continue. The artist could not finish this picture...
“ Horrors of war, atrocity and even frenzy minutes of fight, inexpressible sufferings of the innocent sent to slaughter of the victims; good nature and naivety... heroism and simplicity of soul, the whole fields killed and spoiled, thousands of wounded shipped on dressing point in such infernal sufferings which do not have a name... snow plains in tens of versts where hundreds and thousands thrown and wounded froze slow, terrible death, all this written with fire and skill inimitable, with the enthusiasm going from depth of the soul shaken to the roots - here that created pictures what ever nobody painted in Europe “ - the famous critic V. Stasov wrote.
Vereshchagin traveled around Russia, Western Europe, Syria, Palestine, India, Japan and the USA much. Died in 1904 to the Port - Artur at explosion of a battleship “ Petropavlovsk “. His pictures remain the angry and mournful warning to conquerors of the present and future also today. :