“Soldiers, brave guys, where is your glory?”

The artist is Serov

January 9, 1905 Valentin Serov witnessed the shooting of peaceful demonstrators. According to his daughter’s memoirs, he was at the Academy of Arts, he saw a crowd of icons and portraits out the window, he saw a volley in the crowd, how wounded and killed fell. “I would never forget what I had to see from the windows of the Academy of Arts on January 9,” Serov writes on January 20 and.E.Repin is a restrained, magnificent, unarmed crowd, which meets cavalry attacks and a gun sight – a terrifying sight is already terrifying if the sovereign did not want to go out to the workers and accept the request from them – then this meant their beating? Who is a predetermined this beating? Never to erase this spot … “. The troops of the capital’s garrison were commanded by Grand Duke Vladimir Alexandrovich, president of the Academy of Arts. Indignant and depressed by what happened, Serov along with the artist in. D. Polenov protested in a letter addressed to the Academic Assembly and refused the title of real member of the Academy of Arts.

Without stopping in his struggle for justice, Serov, along with other artists in late April – early May 1905, writes a letter to Nicholas II, in which there are piercing and very bold expressions: “The entire population of Russia, panting in the grip of bureaucratic arbitrariness, which brought our homeland to our homeland before complete ruin and contributing to a number of defeats of our army will not wait for the only way out of the unbearable position, which has long been strongly recommended by the best organs of social thought … ”. The letter of Serov, in fact, is about the fulfillment by the authorities of the conditions of the tsarist manifesto on October 17, 1905 – on elections to the Legislative Assembly of representatives of different layers of society. Serov asks the king in the same letter: “Can we, artists, remain indifferent to us around us, ignoring the tragic picture of what is happening?”And then he responds decisively and clear that the artists,” in about the same, is from the same diverse manifestations “, they see” All the power of disasters experienced by the homeland and attach their voice to „The general choir of “our sincere and courageous intelligentsia”.

Under the impression of what I saw, the work of “Soldier, brave guys, where is your glory?” – household genre with elements of political satire. Sarcastically sounds the name of the work – the line of the old soldier’s song. Drawing the scene not of the reprisal itself, but a moment of the previous moment, the artist focuses the interpretation of the images of an officer, bravely rushing to an unarmed crowd, and dumped dragoons, peaks and checkers ready to restore a “proper” order. Their bizarres seem sharp in shape, grotesque figures.

At the end of the same year, this work of Serov was reproduced in the first issue of the satirical magazine “Zhupel”. But the broad mass of the participants in those events did not learn about the artist’s reaction to the shooting of a peaceful demonstration on January 9, 1905. The magazine was prohibited, and numbers 1 and 2 were confiscated. Serov at the same time, in 1905, wrote “Portrait of Maxim Gorky”, one of the members of the editorial office of the magazine Zhupel, and gave him a picture “Soldier, brave guys, where is your glory?””.

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