This picture is part of the great triptych of Vereshchagin about the war near Shipka. But this, as always with this artist, is not a very simple part of the triptych. Anyway, the idea of the triptych itself is not entirely about war. More precisely, about the war, but not only about that combat unit, but from a purely human side.
This triptych is the story of one soldier who was simply simply forgotten. The first part is a soldier in a snowstorm. He is so wrapped up in his unreliable equipment in this case, which does not save him from the cold, that he does not even see his face. But it’s not necessary.
Enough of the image, a simple image of an honest faithful soldier betrayed by his generals. They simply forgot to remove him from his post. And here he is in the first part of the triptych in a snowstorm, something like standing. The second part - there is a lot of snow, but the soldier still stands at the post. And the third part - the soldier is practically not visible - is a big snowdrift and only part of his cap is visible due to snow. The soldier did not resign, the soldier remained standing, because no one had canceled the order. And the generals who had forgotten about him already reported that everything is calm, everything is normal. Forgot!!!
That's why officials often didn’t like Vereshchagin, they often prevented him from creating. And then it is true how he mercilessly and with poorly hidden hatred, through ceremonial painting, showed the military “exploits” of the generals, who sometimes do not even remember ordinary soldiers. Not without reason, even Emperor Alexander III himself spoke about him not the most flattering words, but still he did not give an order to harm the artist. But then the emperor’s words were perceived differently and prevented Vereshchagin from quietly creating.
And it must be how vindictors sighed easily when they learned about the death of the artist in a ship raid in Port Arthur in 1904. Alas, he died, although he could still do a lot. But he died with a brush in his hands. He set sail to capture the battle in real events.