Russian Bronze Group of Don Cossacks on the Banks of the Danube
Cast by Chopin after a model by Evgeny Lanceray, 1878
On a naturalistic oval base, cast as three mounted Cossack soliders stopping by a river bank. Height 28 1/2 inches (72.4 cm), width 36 inches (91.4 cm).
Sudbury, G.W., E.A. Lanceray: La Sculpture Russe du Cheval, Paris, 2006, pp. 63, 135-136, a comparable model illustrated.
L. A. Dementieva, Album of Models by the Sculptor Eugene Lanceray, Moscow, 2011, No. 60 as Cossack Foragers, pp. 136-138, a comparable model illustrated.
Don Cossacks on the Banks of the Danube was created in 1877-1878, and Chopin received the patent to cast the work in bronze in 1878. Such a large and complex multi-figure composition presented particular difficulties in casting, which required the considerable skill of a foundry like Chopin to execute. First exhibited in Moscow in 1883, the work was so well received that the eminent Russian art critic, Vladimir Stasov (1824-1906), considered it among Lanceray's most successful compositions.
Don Cossacks on the Banks of the Danube commemorates one of the seminal early victories in the Russo-Turkish War of 1877-1878. In May 1877, Russian troops under the command of Grand Duke Nicholas Nikolaevich of Russia (1831-1891), third son of Emperor Nicholas I (1796-1855), concentrated on the north of Danube. In June, the Russian Army constructed a bridge across the Danube and liberated the Bulgarian city of Svishtov. Ottoman forces were ultimately driven back to Constantinople, despite heavy Russian casualties. As a result, Serbia, Montenegro and Romania were liberated from Ottoman rule and Bulgaria was made an autonomous Russian protectorate.
Comparable models of Don Cossacks on the Banks of the Danube were sold Sotheby's, New York, April 22, 2009, lot 400 and Sotheby's, London, November 27, 2012 lot 405.
C Property from a New Jersey Private Collection
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