Vasily Vasilyevich Vereshchagin - a career officer, a graduate of the Marine Corps, preferred military service to the path of the artist. In his work, again, the main theme was military. Vereshchagin can safely be called the forerunner of today's photojournalists. Knowing the war well, he sought without embellishment and for certain to transfer military operations to the canvas not just as a terrible and large-scale spectacle, but as an inevitable and terrible part of human history.
The art of Vereshchagin was called smashing. He was the first to dare to go beyond the framework adopted in relation to works on the brutality of war. The artist tried to capture the most acute moment, causing the feelings of the audience to stir. Of course, there were opponents who perceived the work of the master as a personal rebuke in their direction about the ruthless and cold-blooded waste of other people's lives. Some commanders in chief, even among foreign troops, forbade ordinary soldiers from visiting Vereshchagin’s exhibitions.
After a trip to Central Asia, Vereshchagin will create a series of paintings called "Turkestan". The works shocked the audience, objectively telling about the hardships of foreign campaigns for the Russian troops. It is important to note that all the canvases were recreated from numerous sketches and personal impressions of the master himself, written from nature. “Forgotten” - a picture showing the true face of war. A soldier who died far from his native place for interests alien to his thoughts and heart is left to be torn to pieces by birds. The canvas caused a flurry of indignation among the military personnel of the Turkestan army.
The image is designed in black and white, because death reigns here. A flock of scavengers, flooding the sky, rushes to the lifeless body of an unnamed warrior. Completely fulfilling his military duty, he is just a vain sacrifice to heroism of no use to anyone.
Vasily Vasilievich did not embellish and did not praise the battles, his goal was to demonstrate the unsightly side of the war. He himself hated battles, although the artist and the warrior in him were one. Vereshchagin - the only Russian painter - was awarded the Order of St. George IV degree. Unfortunately, adored and praised by the people, Vereshchagin was subjected to endless persecution and persecution by the elite. As a result, he was brought to a nervous breakdown and destroyed several paintings, among which was the work mentioned.