Wednesday, April 24, 2019

POTD: Battle of Chesme

From 2018 08 14 Peterhof

Today's photo-of-the-day is from Peterhof, the St. Petersburg palace built by Peter the Great of Russia. It's a roomful of paintings, one of many such rooms in the many palaces of St. Petersburg. The particular painting that caught my eye is in the upper right of this photo. I noticed it because we had done some homework before our visit to Russia. The Russo-Turkish War (1768-1774) played a part in a Russian television drama, Ekaterina, about the life of Catherine the Great. The painting shows the destruction of the Turkish fleet during the naval Battle of Chesme on 5-7 July 1770. The artist, Jakob Philipp Hackert, who was commissioned to commemorate the great Russian victory in a painting, was not present during the battle so in order that he could imagine the scene a Russian ship was exploded in the port of Livorno, Italy, for him to witness and paint from. Could that make this the most expensive painting ever commissioned?

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