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Soldiers, Bravo lads, where is your glory?

Painting, 1905, 47.5×41.5 cm

Description of the artwork «Soldiers, Bravo lads, where is your glory?»

9 Jan 1905 Valentin Serov witnessed the crackdown on peaceful demonstrators by tsarist troops. The sight was terrible: the Academy of arts he saw sparkle in the sun checkers riders, as the soldiers raised their guns, as the snow turns red from the blood. What he saw changed Serova: he never had any political views, he could no longer remain on the sidelines.

He resigned from the Academy of arts (the President of which was the Grand Duke Vladimir Alexandrovich, according to Serova, the perpetrator of the incident in the massacre of no less than Emperor). That summer, Serov took an active part in the organization of the satirical magazine "Bugbear".

Before authorities closed the magazine, published just three rooms. In one of them and published the picture "Soldiers, Bravo lads, where's your glory?" - work as buying in form, how poignant content.

Revealing the topic is less discreet artist is hardly able to overcome the temptation to splash on the cardboard red. But Serov remained true to himself: the snow on the picture is not stained with blood. The crowd is moving a single gray line, but after a few seconds it will crash into the breakwater cavalry. Line of "defense" like a broken looking – checkers snatched from its sheath, the horse's nostrils tremble, how tense the back of the Lancer, feel the thrill of the hunt.

Notable animal painter Serov deliberately distorted a gallop in the forefront of the horse – she stolknuvshis all four legs, flies, hooves not touching the ground. In this infernal allure – a powerful subtext: not the Royal troops moving toward the demonstrators, and the horsemen of the Apocalypse. The minimum Serov managed to convey the movement, the inevitable swiftness of the catastrophe. "Frame" ring the suspense, the anticipation of punishment is worse than the violence.

"That had to see me from the Windows of the Academy of arts on January 9, will never forget, the artist wrote in the letter Ilya Repin. – The restrained, majestic, unarmed crowd going out to meet the cavalry attacks, and the rifle sight, – a horrible sight...no one and nothing can erase this stain".

By the way, some researchers believe that in this painting Serov depicted not for the events of Bloody Sunday, and the dispersal of the demonstration in Moscow, near the School of painting, sculpture and architecture. It is quite possible. Alas, in 1905 deficit similar nature Serov experienced.

Author: Andrew Zimoglyadov
from 1450 rub
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About the artwork

Art form: Painting

Subject and objects: Historical scene

Style of art: Impressionism

Technique: Gouache, Pastel, Tempera

Materials: Cardboard

Date of creation: 1905

Size: 47.5×41.5 cm

Artwork in selections: 11 selections

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