The Road of the War Prisoners
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.
Oil on canvas
71 1/4 x 117 11/16 x 2 1/4 in. (181 x 298.9 x 5.7 cm)
frame: 79 3/4 × 126 3/16 × 6 3/4 in. (202.6 × 320.5 × 17.1 cm) (show scale)
Gift of Lilla Brown in memory of her husband, John W. Brown
This item is not on view
Vasily Vereshchagin (Russian, 1842-1904). The Road of the War Prisoners, 1878-1879. Oil on canvas, 71 1/4 x 117 11/16 x 2 1/4 in. (181 x 298.9 x 5.7 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Gift of Lilla Brown in memory of her husband, John W. Brown
, 06.46 (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 06.46_PS4.jpg)
overall, 06.46_PS4.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph, 2011
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