Skip Navigation

A Resting Place of Prisoners

Vasily Vereshchagin

European Art

Vasily Vereshchagin’s two monumental paintings depicting wartime violence stem from the artist’s own experience as a volunteer correspondent and combatant during the Russo-Turkish War in 1877–78.

In A Resting Place for Prisoners, a snowstorm beats down on Turkish prisoners who are monitored by Russian soldiers wielding lances while a horse and carriage are buried under the snow in the foreground. The Road of the War Prisoners depicts bloodied, frozen prisoners in the storm’s aftermath. Crows perch atop the telegraph wires and pick at the lifeless prisoners strewn across the road.

Openly antiwar in its biting realism and unflinching portrayal of death, The Road of the War Prisoners was rejected for the czar’s collection. In 1891, Vereshchagin sold both canvases to New York collectors still haunted by the horrors of the U.S. Civil War.
MEDIUM Oil on canvas
  • Place Made: Russia
  • DATES 1878-1879
    DIMENSIONS 71 7/8 x 119 1/8 x 2 1/4 in. (182.6 x 302.6 x 5.7 cm) frame: 79 3/8 × 127 3/8 × 6 3/4 in. (201.6 × 323.5 × 17.1 cm)  (show scale)
    COLLECTIONS European Art
    MUSEUM LOCATION This item is not on view
    EXHIBITIONS
    ACCESSION NUMBER 06.45
    CREDIT LINE Gift of Lilla Brown in memory of her husband, John W. Brown
    RIGHTS STATEMENT No known copyright restrictions
    This work may be in the public domain in the United States. Works created by United States and non-United States nationals published prior to 1923 are in the public domain, subject to the terms of any applicable treaty or agreement. You may download and use Brooklyn Museum images of this work. Please include caption information from this page and credit the Brooklyn Museum. If you need a high resolution file, please fill out our online application form (charges apply). The Museum does not warrant that the use of this work will not infringe on the rights of third parties, such as artists or artists' heirs holding the rights to the work. It is your responsibility to determine and satisfy copyright or other use restrictions before copying, transmitting, or making other use of protected items beyond that allowed by "fair use," as such term is understood under the United States Copyright Act. The Brooklyn Museum makes no representations or warranties with respect to the application or terms of any international agreement governing copyright protection in the United States for works created by foreign nationals. For further information about copyright, we recommend resources at the United States Library of Congress, Cornell University, Copyright and Cultural Institutions: Guidelines for U.S. Libraries, Archives, and Museums, and Copyright Watch. For more information about the Museum's rights project, including how rights types are assigned, please see our blog posts on copyright. If you have any information regarding this work and rights to it, please contact copyright@brooklynmuseum.org.
    CAPTION Vasily Vereshchagin (Russian, 1842-1904). A Resting Place of Prisoners, 1878-1879. Oil on canvas, 71 7/8 x 119 1/8 x 2 1/4 in. (182.6 x 302.6 x 5.7 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Gift of Lilla Brown in memory of her husband, John W. Brown , 06.45 (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 06.45_PS4.jpg)
    IMAGE overall, 06.45_PS4.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph, 2011
    "CUR" at the beginning of an image file name means that the image was created by a curatorial staff member. These study images may be digital point-and-shoot photographs, when we don\'t yet have high-quality studio photography, or they may be scans of older negatives, slides, or photographic prints, providing historical documentation of the object.
    RECORD COMPLETENESS
    Not every record you will find here is complete. More information is available for some works than for others, and some entries have been updated more recently. Records are frequently reviewed and revised, and we welcome any additional information you might have.