The Road of the War Prisoners
On View: Beaux-Arts Court, East, 3rd Floor
With loose, expressive brushstrokes and raw, emotional detail, Vasily Vereshchagin conveys on a massive scale the horrors of the Russo-Turkish War. In the winter of 1877, while working as a war correspondent, he witnessed thousands of Turkish prisoners freezing to death as they were marched to Russian war camps.
Vereshchagin’s war canvases exemplify the avant-garde Russian interpretation of French Realism, a movement that embraced truthful portrayals of contemporary themes to bring about social reform. The openly antiwar The Road of the War Prisoners was rejected for the czar’s collection. In 1891 Vereshchagin finally sold both canvases displayed here to collectors in New York still haunted by the horrors of the American 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 x 126 3/16 in. (202.6 x 320.5 cm) (show scale)
Gift of Lilla Brown in memory of her husband, John W. Brown
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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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