Historical battle paintings

a Massive and epic battle genre in painting occupies a special niche. He is entirely devoted to the war and everything connected with it: sea and land battles, campaigns, etc., the Genre is distinguished by especially high dynamics, a large number of human figures and attention to details that lend historical accuracy of everything happening on the canvas.

the emergence of the genre and its development in the Middle ages

Official branch of the battle painting as a separate genre has occurred in the 16th century, however, work in this area painters all over the world began much earlier. Thus, in the amphorae, bas-reliefs, the walls of the temples of Ancient Greece, you can see the scene of important historical battles. In the Roman Empire in the East was often depicted emperors and great generals, and rulers in battle. In this case, battle paintings also functioned as the historical Chronicles.
In the Middle ages, the genre has reflected on the carpets, in books, engravings, tapestries and even icons. Or, for example, created on fabric "the Bayeux tapestry” with scenes from the history of the conquest of the Norman feudal lords of England (1073-1083.), shown in the photo.


But really impressive and large-scale can be called works of painters of the Renaissance period in Italy. Battle genre acquired its characteristic features, realism and dynamics. From this time begins his official chronological reading. At this time, the image of the battle was created by Piero della Francesca, Paolo Uccello, Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo, etc.

18-20-th century

a New milestone of development can be called the 18th century. At this time, on the background of the war of independence appear in the paintings of American artists, and also born a Russian battle paintings (prints A. Zubkov F., paintings Nikitin I. N., mosaic Lomonosov M. V, etc.). Under the influence of the French revolution and the Napoleonic wars in the genre has been romantic movement, most vividly expressed in the works of Eugene Delacroix, Horace Vernet. In Russia at this time “flourishes” a Maritime theme and battle-household. The brightest representatives of the first are I. K. Aivazovsky and Bogolyubov, A. P., the second – Polenov V. D., Kovalevskii P. O. Ruthless and realistic creates his paintings Vereshchagin V. V., participated in many wars and campaigns as a volunteer.

In the 20th century historical battle painting was formed on the background of liberation and social revolutions, destructive wars. There have been dramatic changes to the genre, expanding his artistic sense and boundaries. In many works can be traced the social and historical philosophical questions, issues of war and peace, of fascism, of human society. Markedly unity, because, as the art of the socialist countries and in capitalist countries the painting of the battle genre devoted to anti-fascist and revolutionary battles, the biggest historical events of not only individual people, but of the whole world.

Battle painting: features

Painting on the theme of war and its related issues has certain peculiarities, it can not be confused with the works of any other genre. Its uniqueness lies in the following:

  • a Clear demonstration of the importance of the battle or a specific historical moment, the life of a soldier, the war in General.
  • Reflection on the paintings of the most iconic and important moments of the battle.
  • Demonstration of a soldier's heroism.
  • the Inculcation and nurturing of a sense of duty and patriotism.
it Should be noted that historical and battle genres in painting are very close. This is due to the fact that the paintings reflected not just military action, they are bound to a historically important event. You can often find pictures that shows the life of a soldier, a normal life outside of the battlefield, however, closely associated with the war.
Without clarity and a story about famous artists-battle information about this genre of painting is not perceived in full measure. No wonder one of the Proverbs says that it is better to see once than to hear a hundred times.

Vereshchagin, Vasily Vasilyevich

the Name of this Russian artist-painter, painter of the 19th century and the traveler is known around the world. He devoted almost all his life various journeys, military expeditions, including Turkestan, seven Rivers, India, the Caucasus, Europe and Russia. Vereshchagin graduated from the naval cadet corps, participated in the hostilities, including sustained part of a small Russian garrison the siege of Samarkand, for which he received order of Saint George the fourth degree, which is extremely proud. About the war, he knew firsthand, so it is logical that at some point his vocation was battle painting.
Artist had his own vision of hostilities, with respect to the death of ordinary soldiers. In his paintings he reflected, what the real price of ambition of the Emperor in middle East companies. Paintings, filled with a special philosophy and a critical attitude to the war, were often the reason for the condemnation of the Emperor and his entourage. Most famous work: “the Apotheosis of war" (third photo), “Napoleon in Russia" (photo above), Turkestan and Balkan series, “Before the attack. Plevna”.

Roubaud Franz Alekseyevich

the Name of F. A. Rubo is familiar to everyone: from professionals to Amateurs. He is the founder of the Russian school of panoramic painting and the author of over two hundred paintings, among which the three most monumental: “the battle of Borodino», «Sevastopol» (photo above) and the ‘Storming aul Ahulgo”. He comes from the family of a French merchant who settled in Odessa. Since 1903, the artist works as a Manager in shop under the St. Petersburg Academy of arts while having the title of Professor. Among his students were M. B. Greeks on the eve of the revolution in Russia Roubaud in 1912 and finally moved to Germany. However, in recent years life had large orders, living in almost complete obscurity.

Greeks Mitrofan Borisovich

the Painter, who had a Russian-Cossack origin, born in the Rostov region, became the founder of the genre in the Soviet Union. The invaluable experience he received during the First world war, and then Civil. During this period he made a large number of thematic sketches. His battle painting is presented by such films as "Cart" (photo below) “Frozen Cossacks General Pavlov”, “Battle in egorlikskaya”, “trumpeters of the First cavalry”, he also headed the work on view, “the Storming of Perekop” in 1934

Sauerweid, Alexander Ivanovich

Professor of battle painting, the famous Russian and German artist created his paintings in the first half of the 19th century, was a native of Courland. Received an excellent education at the Academy of Dresden. In his youth he painted by order of Napoleon Bonaparte, but in 1814 he was invited in Saint-Petersburg Alexander I for the writing of the paintings of military content as well as drawings of the uniforms of the soldiers of the Russian army. Under Nicholas I, he taught painting to the Grand Dukes. Picture Sauerweid differ dryish letter, not quite an ideal arrangement, but it is a great figure. Most famous work: “battle of Leipzig" (photo below), ‘Storming of the fortress of Varna”, “Battle of Leipzig”.

Villevalde Bogdan Pavlovich

the Son of a wealthy foreigner from Bavaria was born in Pavlovsk in 1818, and twenty years later became one of the disciples of Karl Briullov. After receiving the title of artist, he worked not only in Russia but throughout Europe, was engaged in teaching, was awarded the order. Paintings Villevalde was exhibited in Paris and Vienna, Berlin and Antwerp, they reflected the events of the war of 1812, the Polish uprising of 1831, the Hungarian campaign of military action in 1870-ies and etc. Most well-known works in the genre of battle painting: “the Battle of Grahova”, “the Feat of cavalry regiment at the battle of Austerlitz”, “General Blucher and the Cossacks in Bautzen”, “They were captured in 1814”

Peter von Hess

Bavarian court painter and master of historical painting Peter von Hess was born in 1792 in düsseldorf. Like many other masters of the genre, a war he knew firsthand. Hess participated in the campaigns against Napoleon in 1813-1814 He began his career with small sketches of scenes from the lives of the soldiers and the common people. After a trip to Greece in the retinue of king Otto in 1831, he created a series of paintings dedicated to the struggle of Greeks for independence. In 1839 he went to Russia to collect material for paintings, commissioned by Nicholas I. the Twelve large-scale paintings dedicated to the battles of 1812, including the battle of Borodino, Smolensk, and Vyazma.

Few artists battle painting can boast of such a lively song, like Hess. Individual figures or complicated groups, the paintings are designed and crafted to detail, filled with drama. His best work – “Battle of Austerlitz”, “the Brigand Barbone, struggling against the police”, “Catching horses in Wallachia”, “the Battle of Wörgl”, “the Bivouac of the Austrians”. In the photo - the picture of the battle of Smolensk.

Alphonse de Neuville

a Bright representative of the French battle painting is Alphonse de Neuville, which made its debut in 1859, the painting “a Battalion of Riflemen on the battery Gervais”. Participated in the war of 1870 a Lieutenant in the Parisian battalion of mobiles, and then to the headquarters of General Kaye. He thoroughly studied the nature of warfare, and then embodied them in his paintings.
Paintings of the French masters of battle painting differ sincere Patriotic enthusiasm, a healthy dose of realism. He rarely painted large-scale paintings of battles, mass campaigns, etc., giving preference to individual episodes. His work is full of movement and emotion in the complete absence of sweetness. Occasionally you can observe the merry notes, is a manifestation of national character, and they not only do not spoil the impression, but, on the contrary, add to the paintings life. Most famous paintings: “the Last ammunition" (pictured), “Spy”, “the Battle of Rorks-Drift”, “the Battle of Champigny”.

Battle paintings of Russian and European artists, American masters is a fairly young genre, manifested itself during the last 3-4 centuries. He is incredibly dynamic, vivid, sometimes brutally realistic. It is clear that he is not indifferent. Someone who admires a well-built composition of hundreds of human figures, horses and guns, the other – the skill of drawing the smallest detail, and others - energy message, which carry the pattern.