Pyotr Aleksandrovich Krivonogov is a battle painter whose paintings have become classics of battle painting and the graphic annals of World War II. Canvases are part of the collection of Russian realistic art. P. A. Krivonogov was a member of the art studio of military artists, specializing in military subjects and military propaganda graphics. A year after completing his studies, in 1940 he was enrolled in the ranks of the Krasnoarmeyskaya studio, having made a journey together with the troops from Volokolamsk to Berlin.
During the war, Pyotr Aleksandrovich actively and with a vengeance makes many sketches and graphic works. Most of them are portraits of soldiers with whom the artist went through half of Europe. Then, when creating full-scale images, it helps to recreate the terrible, decisive fate of the whole world battles, vividly, reliably and in the same emotional sense of self.
One of the paintings glorifying the feat of the Russian troops is “Defenders of the Brest Fortress”. The canvas was painted in 1951. Material for capturing one of the most ambitious and fierce battles was carefully collected, bit by bit, and required a long and careful study. It was incredibly difficult, since P. Krivonogov was the first to address the subject of defenders of the Brest Fortress. The feat of heroes was not described and mentioned neither in literature nor in art. Peter Alexandrovich spent a lot of time directly on the battlefield. Among the ruins of the fortress hundreds of sketches and sketches were made.
On the finished canvas, the artist depicts the moment of battle at the Tiraspol Gate. In the distant 1941, June 22, soldiers of the Brest Fortress demonstrated to the advancing invader the unprecedented courage and legendary heroism of our people. The most acute moment of the battle is captured in the picture. After a month of siege, a handful of wounded and exhausted fighters remained from the defenders of the fortress.
Clothes stained in blood and dirt, white bandages covering the wounds and bodies of fallen brothers in arms on the barricades. At first glance, a typical military drama finds new development and perspective. Kryvonogov enriches the moment with comprehensive details and color schemes. The remains of the garrison are not a faceless mass, but a single military fraternity striving for victory. Decisiveness, frozen in the faces of the defenders, fearlessly rushing to meet the newly advancing German troops.
An illustrative symbol of the unwavering stamina of the defenders is the red banners - one proudly developing in the background and the other in the foreground with the eloquent inscription "Long live communism!". A piece of blue sky, visible through the clouds, and the rays of the sun separating the two warring parties, and gliding along the walls of the fortress, also bring a sense of hope for the best, for the triumph of courage and endurance of the Soviet troops.