The Taj Mahal

Oil on canvas - 63.5 x 49 cm

Lot Essay

The Russian battle-painter V. Vereshchagin, the son of a landowner, was sent to the Junior Cadet Corps at the age of eight, and in 1853 was transfered to the St. Petersburg Naval School. In 1858 Vereshchagin began to attend drawing classes at the St. Petersburg Society for the Furtherance of the Arts.
In 1860, having graduated from Naval School with flying colours, Vershchagin sent in his papers against his parents' wishes and entered the Academy of Arts. Outraged by his action, his father cut off all material assistance and Vereshchagin was left to fend for hismelf.
In 1876 he went to Turkestan, which was then the scene of military confrontations. "I went to find out what war, about which I had read and heard so much, was really like...".
In 1874-76 and 1882-83 Vereshchagin made two trips to India to study the scenery and way of life of the country. On 31 March, 1904 Vereshchagin perished, together with Admiral Makarov, on the battleship Petropavlovsk which was blown up by an enemy mine near Port Arthur, during the Russo-Japanese War.

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