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Who and how created five famous Russian panoramas
Who and how created five famous Russian panoramas

Some plots are cramped in an ordinary picture, no matter how large it may be. Some artists need a sweep to paint a battle scene. In order for the scale of the work to correspond to the scale of the action, a panorama is suitable, it immerses both the artist and the viewer in the atmosphere of the event that happened to become the theme for the picture. These are the panoramas that exist in Russia.

1. Panorama "Battle of Borodino", Moscow

The building that houses the panorama today

The famous Moscow panorama appeared on the occasion of the centenary anniversary of the victory in the Patriotic War of 1812. The initiative belonged to the artist Franz Alekseevich Roubaud, who by that time already had the experience of creating such works - behind him he had work on the battle panoramic paintings "Storming the aul of Akhulgo" and "Defense of Sevastopol". Emperor Nicholas II gave the go-ahead for the project. Roubaud put together a team, which included, in particular, the artist Ivan Myasoedov and the consultant General Kolyubakin. By 1912, the painting was ready, its dimensions were 15 by 115 meters. An important role was played by the subject plan - separate exhibits placed between the observation deck and the canvas, complementing the picture and blurring the line between real objects and illusory, painted ones. To demonstrate the work, it was decided to erect a separate building - a wooden pavilion, which was installed on Chistoprudny Boulevard.

F. Roubaud - work on the panorama

The solemn ceremony of opening the "Borodino panorama" took place on August 29, 1912, the emperor and his family were present. Access was also open to ordinary visitors - however, after a while the roof of the pavilion began to leak and the building itself, which was not designed for a long service life, began to fall into disrepair. But the outbreak of the world war, and after it the revolution, postponed the decision of the fate of the work until 1918, when the panorama was filmed, curtailed and began to wander through the warehouses and basements of Moscow.

Fragment of the Borodino panorama in its modern form

Due to improper storage conditions, most of the work was lost, but after the Great Patriotic War, a group of restorers took up the restoration of the panorama. Some changes were made to the original plot - for example, they added the figure of the wounded Bagration. However, the new canvas was not immediately put on public display, but only in 1962, when, on the occasion of the one and a half century anniversary of the war with Napoleon, a new museum was built and opened on Kutuzovsky Prospekt - on the site where the famous village of Fili used to be.

Pavilion on Chistye Prudy, where the panorama was originally located

2. Panorama "Battle of Stalingrad", Volgograd

Panorama "The defeat of the Nazi troops at Stalingrad"

The idea to create a panorama that would perpetuate the feat of the defenders of Stalingrad was first expressed in 1943. In 1944, the first version was created, a collapsible-movable panorama depicting the events of September 1942 and the battle on the Mamayev Kurgan. This project was eventually rejected, and after the war the studio of military artists named after M. B. Grekova took up a new picture. The panorama was completed in 1950 and was first shown in Moscow, and then was transported to Stalingrad, where it was exhibited for viewing at the Pobeda cinema. And later, work began on the construction of a separate building for a painting about the Battle of Stalingrad, the canvas itself was created anew and became the largest among domestic works of painting: in length its dimensions were 120 meters, in height - 16.

Fragment of the panorama

Access to the exposition was opened in July 1982.The panorama depicting the final stage of the Battle of Stalingrad includes images of buildings that have become famous - Gergardt's mill, elevator, Pavlov's house. In the picture you can also see the heroes-defenders of Stalingrad, who performed feats on different days of the battle for the city.

3. "Defense of Sevastopol", Sevastopol

Panorama "Defense of Sevastopol", fragment

This work was the second panorama created by Franz Roubaud - seven years earlier than dedicated to the Battle of Borodino near Moscow. The painting is based on the battle on the Malakhov Kurgan in June 1855, after a year of the siege of the city by the troops of the French and British during the Crimean War. That was the first defense of Sevastopol - in contrast to the next, which happened almost a hundred years later during the Great Patriotic War.

Panorama, like others, consists of a picturesque part and a subject plan

Franz Roubaud worked on the painting for four years, studying documents and the area where the battle was fought, meeting with eyewitnesses of the events of half a century ago. For a panorama measuring 14 by 115 meters, a separate building was erected - military engineer Friedrich-Oskar Enberg was in charge of the work. In 1905, a grand opening took place, and during the second defense of Sevastopol, the room where the panorama was located was damaged by bombing and a fire that began. The panorama, or rather, its individual parts, were saved thanks to the heroic efforts of the Sevastopol residents and taken by ship to Novorossiysk. Upon arrival, it turned out that the work was damaged by sea water, and restoration was deemed impossible.

Franz Roubaud, panorama creator

After the end of the war, the panorama was restored based on the surviving fragments, and as a result of the work of a large group of artists, a new work was published by the centenary of the first defense of the city, in 1954.

4. "Volochaevskaya battle", Khabarovsk

Panorama "Volochaevskaya battle"

The plot for this panorama measuring 6 by 43 meters was the Volochaev battle - a battle during the Civil War, in which the troops of the People's Revolutionary Army managed to defeat parts of the White Insurgent Army, which united the former Kolchak and Semyonov forces, and ensure a strategic advantage in Primorye. At the Volochaevka station, 55 kilometers from Khabarovsk, an assault on June-Koran fell took place, which is recreated in the picture.

Fragment of the panorama

The authors of the work are battle painters Sergei Agapov and Anatoly Gorpenko, who have devoted four years to work on the panorama. A military consultant participated in the creation of the work. The painting took place in the round hall of the building of the Khabarovsk Regional Museum named after N.I. Grodekov, and the panorama was opened on April 30, 1975.

5. Panorama "Trans-Siberian Railway"

1900 World's Fair in Paris

This unique panorama once won the Gold Medal of the World Exhibition in Paris - it happened in 1900. The work was demonstrated in an unusual way: visitors took seats in three carriages in the pavilion. Special devices created the illusion of the cars moving - they swayed, as during a real trip. But the main illusion awaited visitors outside the windows of the carriages: there were moving four screens with watercolor images of views along the Trans-Siberian Railway.

"Trans-Siberian Railway"

The fastest, near screen, rotated at a speed of 300 meters per minute - stones and boulders were glued to the tape, on the next screen, a little slower - bushes. The main ribbon with watercolors moved in front of the standing carriages at a speed of 40 meters per minute. The total length of the panorama was 942 meters, the picture presented views of the Great Siberian Route from Samara to Vladivostok. The artist - Pavel Pyasetsky - has been working on the panorama since 1894. He was invited to photograph the construction of the Trans-Siberian Railway from the artistic side, and spent almost ten years traveling around the country, painting the views from the train window. Special carriages were allocated for him - one for accommodating a workshop, the other for rest.

Pyasetsky painted watercolors while driving along the newly built sections of the railway

For his work, Pyasetsky received the Order of the Legion of Honor at an exhibition in Paris.After returning to Russia, the panorama spent many years in the storerooms. In 2007, the restored watercolors "Trans-Siberian Railway" were again seen at the exhibition dedicated to the 170th anniversary of the Russian Railways, in the building of the Vitebsk railway station in St. Petersburg.

On the question of the heroes of the Battle of Borodino: here's how the family life of the generals of the Patriotic War of 1812 took shape.

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