by Alexei MONAKHOV, Head of Department, Museum-Panorama "Battle of Borodino"; Galina GERASIMOVA, senior researcher of the same department
One of Moscow's popular sites, which attracts both residents and tourists in considerable numbers all year round, is located on the Kutuzovsky Prospect - one of Moscow's main avenues. What the French called the "Bataille de la Moskova"- the Battle of Borodino - is commemorated by a collection of works of the prominent painter of battle-pieces, Franz Roubaud (1856 - 1928) and his central piece - the Borodino Panorama.
The idea of building the grandiose memorial dates back to the 100th anniversary of Russia's victory in the Patriotic War of 1812 and belonged to members of what was called the Imperial Russian War-Historical Society. Two of them- Lieutenant-General Boris Kolyubakin of the General Staff and Colonel Vladimir Afanasyev, proposed the idea to the painter Franz Roubaud who took a keen interest in Russia's past and whose panoramas "Conquest of Caucasus" (1890) and "Defense of Sebastopol" (1904) had already won due recognition in Europe.
It should be noted at this point that a historically authentic painting can only be the "fruit" of common efforts of the artist and scholars. And that's the way the Borodino' panorama was born: Franz Roubaud constantly consulted Lieutenant-General Kolyubakin who made the decision on its "subject scene" and kept watching how his "concept" was being translated into reality. And after nearly two years of preparations the painting of 1,725 m2 was completed in a surprisingly short span of time - in 11 months only (the painter was joined by five assistants). The building of the museum was built (also in very short time) at the Chistye Prudy (Clear Ponds) district of Moscow according to a design of army engineer Pavel Vorontsov-Velyaminov who acted on the advice of Franz Roubaud.
The opening ceremony took place in the royal presence on August 29, 1912. "Explanations" of the paintin ... Читать далее