Russian Museum
Augmented Reality


Military Council in Fili in 1812. 1880

Kivshenko Alexei,
Oil on canvas
79,2 х 164

State Russian Museum

Пост.: 1923 из АХ


After the Battle of Borodino, the Russian army, due to enormous losses, retreated to Moscow, taking a defensive position near Poklonnaya Hill and Sparrow Hills. On 1 September 1812 in the village of Fili near Moscow, the commander of the Russian Army, Field Marshal Mikhail Kutuzov, called a military council to discuss the question of whether to give Napoleon a new battle or to leave Moscow without a fight in order to preserve the army and give it a chance to rest and gather the reserves. Listening to the opinions of those present, the majority of whom preferred the former, Kutuzov made a unilateral decision to leave the ancient capital. The meeting occurred in complete secrecy and no minutes were taken, so the exact number of participants is unknown. The scene in the darkened hut is full of drama. With the help of lighting, Kivshenko concentrates attention on the faces and, fleshing out the character of each person, shows the individuality of his reaction to what is happening.

Author's Biography

Kivshenko Alexei

Kivshenko, Alexei Danilovich (1851, Sheremetev studfarm, near Venyov, Tula Gubernia — 1895, Heidelberg, Germany)
Painter, draughtsman, illustrator. Studied at the School of Drawing, Society for the Encouragement of Artists (1860–1867), at the Imperial Academy of Arts (from 1867, occasional student until 1870), Institute of Technology (1874–1876) and the Academy of Medicine and Surgery. Fellow student of the Imperial Academy of Arts in France and Germany (1880–1883). Academician (1884), professor (1893). Taught at the Baron Stieglitz Central School of Technical Drawing (1883–1895). Headed battle-painting studio at the Imperial Academy of Arts (1894–1895). Contributed to numerous national and international exhibitions.

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