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Red Guards at the Winter Palace. 1927

Osmerkin Alexander,
Oil on canvas
301 х 173

State Russian Museum

Пост.: 1953 из Государственного музея Революции (Ленинград)


The painting Red Guards at the Winter Palace was painted by Alexander Osmerkin, a prominent member of the Knave of Diamonds group, for the 10th anniversary of the October Revolution and was exhibited at the Jubilee Exhibition of 1928 in Moscow. The subject of the canvas reflects a key moment of the historical event: the Red Guards taking the residence of the Provisional Government, located in the imperial Winter Palace, on the night of 25 October. As a result of the armed seizure, which met with little resistance, the Provisional Government was overthrown. A significant and colourful part of the Red Guards were the sailors who had gone over to the Bolsheviks’ side. Osmerkin painted all of the elements of the painting from life, receiving permission to work directly in the halls of the Hermitage. The artist obtained a real sailor’s uniform and rifle, and paid for the services of models and guards himself.

Author's Biography

Osmerkin Alexander

Osmerkin, Alexander Alexandrovich (1892, Elisavetgrad - 1953, Pleskovo, near Moscow)
Painter, graphic artist, teacher. Studied under Nikolai Pimonenko at Kiev School of Art (1909–1911) and Ilya Mashkov's studio in Moscow (1913–1915). Contributed to exhibitions (from 1913). Member and exhibitor of the Knave of Diamonds (1914), World of Art (1917–1922), Moscow Painters (1925), International Exhibition in Venice (1924, 1930). Taught at the Moscow Institute of Fine Arts (1918‒1930), professor of the Leningrad Institute of Painting, Sculpture and Architecture (1932–1947).

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