This picture is part of a large triptych of Vereshchagin about the war under Shipka. But this, as always with this artist, is not an easy part of a triptych. And in general, the very idea of a triptych is not entirely about the war. More precisely, about the war, but not about that combat unit, but from a purely human side.
This triptych is the story of a soldier who was simply forgotten. The first part is a soldier in a blizzard. He is so wrapped up in his own in this case, unreliable equipment that does not save him from the cold, that even a person is not visible. And do not.
Enough of an image, a simple image of an honest loyal soldier devoted to his generals. He was simply forgotten to be removed from his post. And here he is in the first part of the triptych in a blizzard, something worth it. The second part – a lot of snow piled up, but the soldier still stands at the post. And the third part – the soldier is actually not visible – it is a big snowdrift and only a part of his cap is seen because of the snow. The soldier did not leave the post, the soldier remained standing, because nobody canceled the order. And the generals, who have forgotten about him, have already reported that everything is calm, everything is fine. Forgot!!!
That is why officials often did not like Vereshchagin, often prevented him from creating. And in fact it is true, as he mercilessly and with poorly hidden hatred, through the ceremonial painting, showed the military “feats” of generals, who sometimes don’t recall ordinary soldiers. No wonder even the Emperor Alexander III himself spoke not the most flattering words about him, but he still did not give an order to harm the artist. But on the other hand, the words of the emperor were perceived differently and Vereshchagin was prevented from quietly creating.
And it must be how easy the spiteful critics breathed when they learned about the death of the artist in the raid of a ship in Port Arthur in 1904. Alas, he died, although he could still do much. But he died with a brush in his hands. He set sail to capture the battle in real events.