ST. PETERSBURG — An art exposition dedicated to the 200th anniversary of the 1812 French invasion of Russia has opened at the Stroganov Palace in St. Petersburg.
"The Year 1812 in Art From the Collection of the State Russian Museum," features 100 pieces that reflect memories of the French invasion of Russia in many forms such as painting, graphics, sculpture, numismatics, porcelain, glass, furniture and more.
Among the pieces are works by eminent Russian artists such as Orest Kiprensky and Alexei Venetsianov.
The year of 1812 was a period of heightened patriotic enthusiasm and social unity in Russia, as the war united much of the country. Both nobles and merchants donated large sums of money to the army, and landowners and their servants signed up to fight.
The exhibition features paintings depicting battles and heroic deeds from the war such as Mikhail Tikhonov's "The Execution of the Russians by French Soldiers in 1812" and Kiprensky's "Portrait of Colonel Yevgraf Davydov."
The exhibit also includes an album of drawings and wash drawings by English traveler John Thomas James between 1813 and 1814, while he was traveling around Europe.
The Russian part of his trip largely followed the route taken by Napoleon's army, allowing him to witness the results of the French military campaign.
His drawings of a destroyed Moscow (1814) and the Borodino Field, where the main battle was held, are considered to be two of the most interesting pieces.