The Apotheosis of war, after Vereshchagin, 2007
Chromogenic print mounted on aluminum
Small size: 122 × 188 cm
Large size: 180 × 282 cm
The work by Vik Muniz ‘The Apotheosis of War, After Vereshchagin’, 2007 from ‘Pictures of Pigment’ series is an appropriation of the painting made by Russian artist Vasily Vereshchagin in 1871.
In Vereshchagin’s painting death and devastation are everywhere: the trees are withered, the grass is dark and there is not a single living person around. Inscribed into the work’s frame is the phrase: “This is dedicated to all great conquerors, past, present, and future.”
Vereshchagin genuinely believed in the power of this painting’s message to proselytize for peace. While the military leaders of Europe’s more pugilistic empires were banning their soldiers from going to Vereshchagin’s exhibitions, the artist was offering free admission to servicemen to view and digest the material. “The revolutionary direction of my war scenes was recognized, Not only in Russia, but also in Austria and Prussia,” Vereshchagin stated.
Vik Muniz. Russian Project. Gary Tatintsian Gallery, Moscow. Oct 2007–Feb 2008
Vik Muniz. Gary Tatintsian Gallery, Moscow. June–Oct 2018
Vik Muniz. Gary Tatintsian Gallery, Moscow, 2007. pp. 158–159