On April 12 (24), 2017, 140 years have passed since the beginning of the Russo-Turkish War of 1877-1878. In world history this war became unprecedented in sacrifice “for one’s own friend”. Russia had paid a very high price for the liberation of Bulgaria, the independence of Romania, Serbia and Montenegro. Tens of thousands of Russian soldiers rest in mass graves on the Bulgarian land. To this memorable date is a large-scale exhibition project, prepared by the Historical Museum.
The exhibition features weapons and uniforms, awards of famous and unknown heroes, regimental banners, award-winning silver pipes, documents, maps, books, trophies, pictures of famous artists, crosses and icons found on the battlefields, as well as memorial items. Among them – the uniform of Emperor Alexander II and two icons presented to him in 1877 in Bulgaria, the uniform of Grand Duke Alexander Alexandrovich (future Emperor Alexander III) and his autograph, saber and personal belongings of General MD. Skobelev, Anninsky weapon “For Bravery” of Prince NS. Shcherbatov, who later became director of the Imperial Russian Historical Museum.
Special attention should paid to the photographs and reportage graphics of the 1870s. During the war, writers, journalists, artists, photographers, representatives of various Russian publications, such as “World illustration”, “Niva”, “New time”, “Government Bulletin”, went to the front. Their articles, as well as photographs and sketches made from nature, were published urgently on the pages of leading Russian and foreign publications. These publications along with authentic photographs and lithographs can also be seen at the exhibition.
Separately should be noted the unique photographs of F. Dushek – the court photographer Charles I of Romania. In his photographic lens were nameless soldiers, officers of the General Staff, generals, diplomats, grand dukes, including the commander-in-chief of the Danube Army Grand Duke Nikolai Nikolayevich and the Russian Emperor Alexander II.
Undoubted interest is caused by rare maps and schemes of military operations, as well as magnificent paintings – invaluable evidence of the events of those years. Among them are paintings by V.V. Vereshchagin, V.D. Polenova and P.O. Kovalevsky, who were at the theater of military operations, as well as A.D. Kivshenko, N.D. Dmitrieva-Orenburg, N.E. Sverchkova, P.A. Sukhodolsky, N.P. Krasovsky, who created impressive canvases, relying on documentary material. Many of these works were written by the order of Emperor Alexander II and adorned the Military Gallery of the Winter Palace.