Museums and Art

Ruins in Chuguchak, Vereshchagin - description of the painting

Ruins in Chuguchak, Vereshchagin - description of the painting

The ruins in Chuguchak - Vasily Vereshchagin. 25 x 35 cm

Outwardly peaceful and calm, even the peaceful image of the ruins in the city of Chuguchak, which now belongs to China, has a terrible background. At the time of the creation of the picture, a fire was raging for many years in the uprisings of local peoples - the Uyghurs and the Dungans. The riots were suppressed with unprecedented cruelty, the cities were devastated to the last resident, so that they left only dead ruins with streets covered with bones of the dead and the ashes of burnt buildings. The surviving cats and dogs did not even roam the ruins, so complete was the destruction of life.

It was this terrifying state of the absolute absence of a living being that the great artist reflected in his series of paintings on Chuguchak. The canvas depicts the ruins of the city with a large statue of a Chinese lion in the center. The statue is partially destroyed, as well as part of the structure on the right and the walls in the back of the picture. However, the feeling that this happened naturally, in ancient times, no. And this is due to the fact that even around and full of tall grass, it is clear that the mighty old trees against the background of clear blue sky and distant blue mountains are dead. They burned down, and those located on the right, behind large ruins, suffered the most. It becomes clear that the city was burned and plundered, and its population suffered very much.

But even in such a sad picture, there was a place for hope. It is expressed in the revival of nature. On yesterday's streets and squares of the abandoned city, grass began to grow, shrubs make their way and wild plants bloom. Trees with a burned crown are partially restored, and those that died irrevocably are covered with curly greens, which will soon hide their painful wounds. Civilization will revive and the city will come back to life, but will people have the mind and goodwill not to return everything to a sad source?

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