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Old 24th January 2016, 01:56 PM   #1
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Default Vasily Vereshchagin "Indian poem"

Many Russian in the 19th century interested in India. They traveled in India, studied it, drew pictures. One of them is Vasily Vereshchagin - known Russian artist.

In 2014, in India, in New Delhi published a book in English "Indian poem", which tells about the journey Vereshchagin in India and published him paintings.
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Old 24th January 2016, 01:56 PM   #2
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The painting Vereshchagin "Entrance Prince of Wales in Jaipur in 1876", which is stored in the Victoria Memorial in Calcutta - the biggest in India artistic canvas painted in oil.
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Old 24th January 2016, 04:39 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by mahratt
One of them is Vasily Vereshchagin - known Russian artist.


Well known Russian artist

Exept Russia, Vasily Vasilievich Vereshchagin created in France, Germany, United States and other.
Many years he traveled in Balkan countries, Central Asia, China, Middle East, India, Tibet, USA, Japan, collected very well collection of arms and armor.
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Old 24th January 2016, 06:40 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mahratt
The painting Vereshchagin "Entrance Prince of Wales in Jaipur in 1876", which is stored in the Victoria Memorial in Calcutta - the biggest in India artistic canvas painted in oil.


Despite being the third largest painting in the world of its type I can not find a large image of it.

Quote:
The state entry of King Edward VII, then prince of Wales, into Jaipur in 1876, painted by Russian artist Veretchagin.

The richly caparisoned elephants advancing majestically with horses and footmen in a procession passing the Amber Chowpar in Jaipur make a composition of very great beauty. The Prince of Wales and Maharaja Ram Singh of Jaipur are seated on the first elephant. Behind them on the same elephant is Sir Alfred Lyall, the political Agent of Rajputana at the time. Sir Henry Bartle Edward Frere who accompanied the Prince of Wales in his Indian tour is on the next elephant and General Sam Brown is on the third.

Two other elephants behind these carry members of the Prince's personal staff as well as some officials of the Jaipur State. Measuring 274 inches by 196. this painting is known to be the largest in oils in India and the third largest in this medium in the world. It was originally the property of Edward Malley of New Haven, U.S.A. from whom it was acquired by the Maharaja of Jaipur and presented to the Victoria Memorial in 1905.
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Old 24th January 2016, 06:51 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by mahratt
Many Russian in the 19th century interested in India. They traveled in India, studied it, drew pictures. One of them is Vasily Vereshchagin - known Russian artist.

In 2014, in India, in New Delhi published a book in English "Indian poem", which tells about the journey Vereshchagin in India and published him paintings.


Vasily Vereshchagin: horrors of war through artist’s eyes
17 October 2011 AJAY KAMALAKARAN

Quote:
Vasily Vereshchagin depicted war atrocities in his paintings for many years, and even his own life tragically ended during a Russo-Japanese war.

When it comes to Russian painters who had a fascination for India, the first name that comes to most people’s minds is Nicholas Roerich, an artist and philosopher who left an indelible mark in both India and Russia with his paintings and books. There was, however, another great Russian artist and traveller, who made a valuable contribution to India by chronicling the country under British Rule: Vasily Vasilevich Vereshchagin.

Born into an aristocratic family in Cherepovets (in what is now the Vologda Region) in 1842, Vereshchagin graduated from the Naval Cadet Corps in St Petersburg but he had a strong inclination towards the fine arts. He then enrolled in the Imperial Academy of Arts (now the St Petersburg Academy of Arts), a school that promoted the neo-classical style and technique. However, a disdain for fixed methods and techniques put him out of favour with many of his teachers and he even denounced methods taught to him in Paris by Jean-Leon Gerome.

The Russian artist’s international legacy is that of a military painter. He had his first taste of war at the age of 26 when he accompanied the Russian Army, under General Konstantin Kaufman on an expedition to modern day Uzbekistan. He was decorated with the Cross of St George for bravery shown during the siege of Samarkand. His future paintings were greatly influenced by what he witnessed during the wars. In what was one of his most graphic paintings, ‘The Apotheosis of War,’ hundreds of skulls are put on top of another on a hill. Although, Vereshchagin was involved in military campaigns, his words of dedication after painting the ‘Apotheosis’ smack of irony and almost sound like a mark of protest against war: “to all conquerors, past, present and to come.”

It was in 1876 that the Russian painter first came to India, a country that just two decades earlier fought a war of independence against Czarist Russia’s rivals, the British Empire. He painted several illustrations of the British Rule of India, the most famous of those being “The State Procession of the Prince of Wales into Jaipur.” This enormous painting, which is now inside Calcutta’s Iconic Victoria Memorial, is the third largest painting in the world. While one may be mistaken into believing that Vereshchagin glorified the British Raj, the painting is more like a modern-day photograph documenting an event. In fact, Vereshchagin’s illustrations of the Raj demonstrated a strong dislike for British rule in India.

The British looked at Vereshchagin with suspicion and were very often critical of his work. The painter specialised in illustrations from several wars, including the Russo-Turkish War of 1877-88. His painting of the 1857 Indian War of Independence titled ‘Blowing from Guns in British India,’ drew flak from the British. The painting showed Indian soldiers getting executed by being tied to gun barrels but the uniforms worn by the British officers suggested that these acts were being carried out in the 1880s. The Russian painter insisted that the British were likely to carry out similar executions if there was another war of independence.

Vereshchagin was one of the first painters to depict the cultural continuity from Central Asia into northern India. The paintings show the similarities in architectural styles in mausoleums and monuments from Samarkand and Bukhara to those around Agra. This month, a Sotheby’s auction managed to sell Vereshchagin’s 1876 oil on canvas painting of the Taj Mahal for $3.7 million to an anonymous buyer. Looking at the masterpiece, it’s hard to believe that there was a time in India, when the Yamuna River was as clean and clear as portrayed in the painting. One can also imagine how unpolluted Agra was in the 19th century, when admiring the blue skies in Vereshchagin’s illustration of the Moti Masjid (Pearl Mosque) in the Agra Fort.

The Russian painter saw many places in India during his two trips. It remains a mystery where the “Adelnur” from his ‘Brahman Temple from Adelnur’ is. Another painting titled “Evening at the Lake, Raj Nagar” shows a marble embankment with bas reliefs in Udaipur at a time when the town was nowhere close to being the tourist magnet that it is in the 21st century. Vereshchagin also painted several portraits of Indians covering a diverse range of people including nomadic Laddakhis, a Muslim fakir, a bania (trader) in Bombay and some people that dressed well enough to look like members of the aristocracy.

Like Nicholas Roerich, Vereshchagin was enamoured by the beauty of the Himalayas and the Tibetan plateau. This writer once saw a pair of phenomenal paintings by the military artist at Moscow’s Tretyakov Gallery titled ‘Glacier on the Road from Kashmir to Laddakh’ and ‘Snows of the Himalayas.’ Vereshchagin even managed to visit Sikkim, when it was an isolated and independent kingdom. Looking at his range of paintings, it’s obvious that the Russian painter and traveller saw more of India in the 19th century than many Indians would in the 21st century.


Despite Vereshchagin’s beautiful illustrations of India, his legacy remains that of a military artist, who witnessed and documented wars. Besides ‘Apotheosis’ and ‘Blowing from Guns of British India,’ the Russian painter drew criticism for his painting of the execution of members of the Nihilist movement in St Petersburg. Vereshchagin moved to the Russian Far East and witnessed both the Russo-Japanese War and Russia’s advances into Manchuria.

Despite surviving a variety of wars that stretched from the Russo-Turkish War to the American campaign in the Philippines, it was on board a Russian naval ship that Vereshchagin died. While accompanying Russian Admiral Stepan Makarov, the Russian artist died when the Petropavlovsk struck two mines and sank off Port Arthur in 1904.

More than a century after his death, no single artist, photographer or journalist has come anywhere close to documenting wars and conflicts the way Vasily Vereshchagin did. Yet, the sheer diversity of his work is what really sets Vereshchagin apart from most artists of any epoch.
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Old 24th January 2016, 09:29 PM   #6
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more India
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Old 25th January 2016, 09:45 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mahratt
The painting Vereshchagin "Entrance Prince of Wales in Jaipur in 1876"


Подборка старых фото об этом событии:
A selection of old photos of the event:

http://humus.livejournal.com/4659165.html
http://humus.livejournal.com/4669076.html
http://humus.livejournal.com/4679211.html
http://humus.livejournal.com/4688978.html
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Old 25th January 2016, 06:00 PM   #8
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The story of Vereshchagin's death along with Admiral Makarov, the only competent Russian naval commander at the time, was a death knell for the Russian Navy. Coupled with humiliating and totally disproportional losses at the Battle of Tsushima ( Russians lost all of their 11 battleships, 4 of 8 cruisers and 6 of 9 destroyers against the Japanese loss of 3 torpedo boats) this left Port Artur totally undefended.

General Kuropatkin, the commander of the Russian Ground Forces was equally incompetent and lost one battle after another.

After Port Arthur surrender, he went into deep depression. To lift his spirits, Tsar Nicolas II presented him with a gorgeous chess set, made by Faberge of rare stones, gold and silver. It had carved signatures of Tsar himself, as well as those of Kuropatkin's fellow generals.

How do I know it?

A good acquaintance of mine is the #1 chess collector in the world, and he bought this set from a London dealer BEFORE it was put on the market. He just pulled out his check book, wrote the name of the dealer, signed it and only then asked " How much?" I never asked what was the number :-)

I spent some time in front of a custom glass cabinet, marveling at the incredible sight.
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Old 25th January 2016, 06:16 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ariel
The story of Vereshchagin's death along with Admiral Makarov, the only competent Russian naval commander at the time, was a death knell for the Russian Navy. Coupled with humiliating and totally disproportional losses at the Battle of Tsushima ( Russians lost all of their 11 battleships, 4 of 8 cruisers and 6 of 9 destroyers against the Japanese loss of 3 torpedo boats) this left Port Artur totally undefended.

General Kuropatkin, the commander of the Russian Ground Forces was equally incompetent and lost one battle after another.

After Port Arthur surrender, he went into deep depression. To lift his spirits, Tsar Nicolas II presented him with a gorgeous chess set, made by Faberge of rare stones, gold and silver. It had carved signatures of Tsar himself, as well as those of Kuropatkin's fellow generals.

How do I know it?

A good acquaintance of mine is the #1 chess collector in the world, and he bought this set from a London dealer BEFORE it was put on the market. He just pulled out his check book, wrote the name of the dealer, signed it and only then asked " How much?" I never asked what was the number :-)

I spent some time in front of a custom glass cabinet, marveling at the incredible sight.


Ariel, the topic - the artistic creativity Vereshchagin. In particular, his paintings of India. I do not understand your post. If you want to talk about the death of Vasily Vereshchagin - was enough the first half of your first phrase.

If you touch the story, you're right, Ariel. Tsushima - it is the greatest shame of the Russian Navy. It can be likened to Pearl Harbor for the US Navy.
But, You probably do not understand. This issue is not about the history of Russia and the history of the Russian Navy. Your message did not fit the topic. I ask the moderators to remove Ariel message №7 and my message №8.

Last edited by mahratt : 25th January 2016 at 06:29 PM.
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Old 25th January 2016, 07:02 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mahratt
Ariel, the topic - the artistic creativity Vereshchagin. In particular, his paintings of India. I do not understand your post. If you want to talk about the death of Vasily Vereshchagin - was enough the first half of your first phrase.

That's interesting Dmitriy, but you know, this is the Ethnographic Arms & Armor Forum, not Art Forum. I do see one painting that you posted that clearly shows arms and armor that we can discuss. One. I am willing to bet that Vereshchagin may have painted quite a few others worthy of discussion here as he is specifically known for his paintings that depict war. Show us those and discuss ethnographic weapons. That is what we do here. We don't discuss artistic creativity of an artist for art's sake. So one might question whether or not your initial post is even on topic for this forum. If you would like to talk about Vereshchagin's work in context to this forum please show us more images of weapons, not palaces, royals on horse and elephant back and street beggars.
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Old 25th January 2016, 07:34 PM   #11
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Pictures Vereshchagin. Central Asia.
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Old 25th January 2016, 07:39 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David
That's interesting Dmitriy, but you know, this is the Ethnographic Arms & Armor Forum, not Art Forum.


Thanks for the reply David. Probably Ariel message fits the theme of the Ethnographic Arms & Armor Forum. In contrast to the images that I show here. Thanks for clarifying.
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Old 25th January 2016, 08:27 PM   #13
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Picture, photo, Shamshir
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Old 25th January 2016, 09:07 PM   #14
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Ariel, one week ban for baiting.

Mahratt, one week ban for taking the bait.

As you both have been warned multiple times the first PM I receive from either of you complaining about this will earn you a month in moderation as well.

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Old 25th January 2016, 10:02 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mahratt
Picture, photo, Shamshir

Vereshchagin is absolutely correct in detail. This is his personal style.
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Old 28th January 2016, 08:28 PM   #16
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Turkestan
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Old 2nd February 2016, 03:39 AM   #17
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Turkestan
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Old 2nd February 2016, 10:53 AM   #18
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Vereshchagin's pictures reflected fascination of the 19th century Western artists with the "mysterious Orient": he was a Russian Gerome. Both painted Muslim soldiers carrying exotic weapons and dressed in exotic garb. In the absense of photography their paintings are our best source of iconographic information, although their complete veracity cannot be vouched for. Orientalism was heavily Romantic. Studio portraits and use of props were customary. One can only wonder how Central Asian nomads, Egyptian soldiers or Ottoman bashibouzuks managed all wear impeccably clean clothes of heavily saturated colors not faded by the unrelenting sunlight and not given to dirt, dust, wear and tear.
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Old 2nd February 2016, 11:42 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ariel
Vereshchagin's pictures reflected fascination of the 19th century Western artists with the "mysterious Orient": he was a Russian Gerome. Both painted Muslim soldiers carrying exotic weapons and dressed in exotic garb. In the absense of photography their paintings are our best source of iconographic information, although their complete veracity cannot be vouched for. Orientalism was heavily Romantic. Studio portraits and use of props were customary. One can only wonder how Central Asian nomads, Egyptian soldiers or Ottoman bashibouzuks managed all wear impeccably clean clothes of heavily saturated colors not faded by the unrelenting sunlight and not given to dirt, dust, wear and tear.


Vereshchagin was not an artist who paints in the studio. He was a direct participant in the events that depict. Of course, like any talented artist, he could embellish some type, which created on the canvas.

Quote:
Originally Posted by estcrh
The Russian artist’s international legacy is that of a military painter. He had his first taste of war at the age of 26 when he accompanied the Russian Army, under General Konstantin Kaufman on an expedition to modern day Uzbekistan. He was decorated with the Cross of St George for bravery shown during the siege of Samarkand. His future paintings were greatly influenced by what he witnessed during the wars.

Despite Vereshchagin’s beautiful illustrations of India, his legacy remains that of a military artist, who witnessed and documented wars.

More than a century after his death, no single artist, photographer or journalist has come anywhere close to documenting wars and conflicts the way Vasily Vereshchagin did.


But if someone does not have enough dust, dirt and torn clothes, it is known that the Vereshchagin portrayed and this too (because he was trying to show the reality):
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Old 2nd February 2016, 12:04 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ariel
Vereshchagin's pictures reflected fascination of the 19th century Western artists with the "mysterious Orient": he was a Russian Gerome. Both painted Muslim soldiers carrying exotic weapons and dressed in exotic garb. In the absense of photography their paintings are our best source of iconographic information, although their complete veracity cannot be vouched for. Orientalism was heavily Romantic. Studio portraits and use of props were customary. One can only wonder how Central Asian nomads, Egyptian soldiers or Ottoman bashibouzuks managed all wear impeccably clean clothes of heavily saturated colors not faded by the unrelenting sunlight and not given to dirt, dust, wear and tear.


Ariel, you can not simply group all painters from that time period together as "orientalist" as a way to discredit the accuracy of their paintings, although I do see this happening a lot. Many painters visited the areas they painted, some for extended periods of time and they took great pride in factually painting what they saw, while others may have not been so detailed, you have to examine the painting individually before making judgements.

As for the often seen (but not always) paintings of clean, colorful clothing and the people wearing them, I have wondered about that myself, especially when you see someone wearing all white, but photographs from the same time periods can show that this was not just imagination.

Emir Seyyid Mir Mohammed Alim Khan, the Emir of Bukhara, seated holding a sword in Bukhara, (present-day Uzbekistan), ca. 1910, early original color photograph.
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Old 2nd February 2016, 06:31 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mahratt
Vereshchagin was not an artist who paints in the studio. He was a direct participant in the events that depict. :

Quote:
Originally Posted by estcrh
Emir Seyyid Mir Mohammed Alim Khan, the Emir of Bukhara, seated holding a sword in Bukhara, (present-day Uzbekistan), ca. 1910, early original color photograph.:


Come on, guys!

This is art, let's not forget it.


The emir from the Prokudin-Gorski's photograph was posing for a color photo-portrait. Of course, he was asked to wear his most colorful khalat ( being rich did not hurt him, either)

And of course, Vereshchagin painted in the studio. Are we to believe that he set his easel right in front of the Turkomans cutting off human heads? Or that he stood behind the Turkoman horde about to annihilate a small band of Russian soldiers?

Or are we to believe that Ingres was given free access to the harem to paint sultan's naked concubines?

There is no doubt that Vereshchagin tried to be as close to the truth as possible, but so was Rembrandt , whose Samson was blinded with a... Balinese keris:-)
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Old 2nd February 2016, 07:18 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ariel
Come on, guys!

This is art, let's not forget it.

The emir from the Prokudin-Gorski's photograph was posing for a color photo-portrait. Of course, he was asked to wear his most colorful khalat ( being rich did not hurt him, either)

And of course, Vereshchagin painted in the studio. Are we to believe that he set his easel right in front of the Turkomans cutting off human heads? Or that he stood behind the Turkoman horde about to annihilate a small band of Russian soldiers?

Or are we to believe that Ingres was given free access to the harem to paint sultan's naked concubines?

There is no doubt that Vereshchagin tried to be as close to the truth as possible, but so was Rembrandt , whose Samson was blinded with a... Balinese keris:-)


We know that Vereshchagin made sketches from nature. Of course, he did not paint during battles. At this time, it is as an ordinary soldier, fought in the ranks of his comrades. This is, in the memoirs of his contemporaries.

But he saw Russian soldiers, the inhabitants of Bukhara and battles. And show us the battles and other terrible pictures helped his memory.

Vereshchagin saw all that and then depict. He was at the center of these developments. And not in a quiet studio ... Therefore, his paintings so accurate in detail. Maybe you point out errors in the pictures Vereshchagin? Such like Balinese keris Rembrandt?

Thank you in advance.
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Old 2nd February 2016, 07:29 PM   #23
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Bukhara Sarbaz.
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Old 2nd February 2016, 09:52 PM   #24
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Mahratt, these works you are posting are breathtaking! and the way you place corresponding photos reveal how amazingly close these portrayals are to the traditional styles and weaponry.
Naturally artists painted in studios, but most artists used what are known as 'studys', which are sketches drawn with notes from live and real time situations. From these they crafted their finished works.

Rembrandt, mentioned a number of times here, actually had a considerable and eclectic collection of arms and antiquities from which he drew many of his entries in his paintings. This is of course how the keris came into his Biblical theme painting, as artictic license prevailed.

In many cases, artists used their earlier works or sometimes the work of other artists as studies in varying degree for figures in their work. I have seen great discussions of this in references on 'historical detection' which is essentially forensic type art study.

Art itself is a valuable medium for the comprehensive study of arms (which despite controversial views are also forms of art) and whether the work contains actual weapons or not. Often there are nuanced clues in the figures or materials represented which are telling in many aspects of the motif, style and decoration .

Thank you gentlemen for continuing this most interesting discussion, and presenting the great perspectives helping us better appreciate the topic overall.
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Old 3rd February 2016, 07:04 AM   #25
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Many thank for the right words, Jim!
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Old 3rd February 2016, 08:07 AM   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ariel
Come on, guys!

This is art, let's not forget it.


The emir from the Prokudin-Gorski's photograph was posing for a color photo-portrait. Of course, he was asked to wear his most colorful khalat ( being rich did not hurt him, either)

And of course, Vereshchagin painted in the studio. Are we to believe that he set his easel right in front of the Turkomans cutting off human heads? Or that he stood behind the Turkoman horde about to annihilate a small band of Russian soldiers?

Or are we to believe that Ingres was given free access to the harem to paint sultan's naked concubines?

There is no doubt that Vereshchagin tried to be as close to the truth as possible, but so was Rembrandt , whose Samson was blinded with a... Balinese keris:-)


Supposedly Eugene Delacroix was allowed access to an Algerian household during a 3 month North African journey, he was said to have actually been allowed to view the female household/harem, something most painters had to imagine or paint from discriptions told to them. He is said to have filled sketch books with drawings of what he saw during his travels.

Along with sketches made while visiting foreign countries some painters did in fact use photographs to capture the memories of what they saw.


Quote:
Photography makes it possible to incorporate elements in a painting that would be impossible to do otherwise. Certain fleeting lighting conditions for example would long be gone before most artists had the opportunity to set one’s palette, let alone collect the visual data necessary to replicate a scene in the style of high realism.

To this end, the amazing 19th Century Academician, Jean Leon Gerome, used photographs extensively in his process. In fact, he traveled with a photographer on his numerous excursions to the Middle East, specifically for the purpose of gathering the degree of information necessary to execute his brilliant Orientalist paintings.

Would it have been possible for Gerome to create these paintings without using photography, by simply working from life? Personally, I don’t think so, because before Gerome, no artist had ever achieved anything near the same level of illusionistic atmospheric realism so effectively and prolifically.

Before photography was invented, artists used a vast array of devices and strategies to augment their ability to record the world around them. Once photography appeared on the scene, however, realism “coincidently” took a big leap forward.
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Old 3rd February 2016, 11:24 AM   #27
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Bulls-eye!

Their Photorealism mutated into more recent Hyperrealism, that puts even more emphasis on the painters' subtle emotional hints and sheer fantasy.
But very often the latter overcomes the reality and this is exactly what happened with your great example of Vereshchagin's very naturalistic image of Indian sepoys "blown from guns" , a practice he could not have seen. Such is art, and this is its difference from historical evidence.
BTW, I was unaware of his travels to Ladakh and Sikkim. Was he a part of the Russian clandestine intelligence gathering operations? ( Another Russian painter, Nicolas Roerich, was or tried to be, later on). If you are interested in that period and the rivalry between Britain and Russia in Central Asia, you absolutely must read Peter Hopkirk's " The Great Game"!

And if we are talking about India and Vereshchagin, we should not forget Edwin Lord Weeks, a superb American Orientalist painter who was his equal or better ( pure IMHO).
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Old 3rd February 2016, 11:51 AM   #28
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Some mistakenly believe that Vereshchagin depict execution after the Sepoy rebellion 1857-1859. This is not true. The painting is called "The English penalty in India." She depict in 1884. In reality, the painting depicts the execution of a Sikh-namdhari 1872, which Vereshchagin learned during a visit to India in 1875. In the middle of January 1872 a few hundred namdhari, using the fact that the main forces of the Anglo-Indian troops were concentrated in Punjab maneuvers in Delhi, revolted against the British and attacked two fortified castle - Malodh and Maler Kotla to seize weapons are in them. The rebels were defeated. British troops responded with repression. From guns were firing squad of 65 people.
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Last edited by mahratt : 3rd February 2016 at 12:18 PM.
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Old 3rd February 2016, 12:35 PM   #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ariel
And if we are talking about India and Vereshchagin, we should not forget Edwin Lord Weeks, a superb American Orientalist painter who was his equal or better ( pure IMHO).


Of course, because "Made in US - means excellent" (this is a pleasantry)

But seriously, I think, to all participants of the forum would be interesting if you have created the theme of the paintings Edwin Lord Weeks.
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Old 3rd February 2016, 12:40 PM   #30
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Perhaps. But he could witness events of 1872 no better than those of 1858: he wasn't there for either:-)

Nothing wrong with it artistically : Rembrandt never witnessed the return of the Prodigal Son, Moses did not have horns and Sistine Chapel is not a documentary account of the Creation of Adam and the Last Judgement.

Once and for all: works of art are not historical facts. In the best possible case they provide us with a glimpse of contemporaneous view of material objects, in the worst one they are malicious distortions of truth. The greatest majority of them are somewhere in between. But no court on Earth would accept them as evidence.
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