|Apotheosis of War, 1871, Vasily Vereshchagin
|The Return from the Petroff Palace, 1895, Vasily Vereshchagin
|Vasily Vereshchagin, born in 1842, may well have been the first anti-war artist, and certainly the first such painter to gain international recognition in depicting the horrors of warfare.
|Vereshchagin's depictions of war depicted both past of present, starting with Napoleon (above-top), down through the British occupation of India, the Russian conflict with Turkey (1877-78), as well as the Boer Wars in South Africa (1879-1915).
|Definitely not for the living room, barely suitable for art galleries.
|Wounded, 1901, Vasily Vereshchagin
|Late in life, Vereshchagin's international travels reach as far away as China and Japan.
|Central Asia as seen by Vasily Vereshchagin in the 1880s
A journey to Syria and Palestine in 1884 furnished Vereshchagin with a thoroughly comprehensive set of subjects from the New Testament. Vereshchagin's paintings caused controversy over the portrayal figure of Christ with what was thought at the time to be an unseemly realism. His depiction of Jesus's features was thought of as excessively vulgar and over-emphatically Semitic in ethnicity (he didn't look European enough). His Crucifixion by the Romans (below) is typical of the naturalism Vereshchagin applied to his genre subject imposed upon the oft-painted Crucifixion. Vereshchagin was in the Far East during the First Sino-Japanese War of 1894–1895, He was with the Russian troops in Manchuria during the Boxer Rebellion of 1900. The following year he visited the Philippines, and in 1902 the United States and Cuba. 1903 found Vereshchagin in Japan. During the Russo-Japanese War, he was invited by Admiral Stepan Makarov to join him aboard Makarov's flagship, Petropavlovsk. On April 13, 1904, Petropavlovsk struck two mines while returning to Port Arthur in the Philippines. It sank, with most of the crew, as well as both Admiral Makarov and Vereshchagin. Vereshchagin's last work, a picture of a council of war presided over by Admiral Makarov, was recovered almost undamaged.
|Vereshchagin's version of the crucifixion has almost a movie-like quality, based up the artist's intimate familiarity with the garb and appearance of the descendants of those present at Christ's crucifixion.