Museum complex

The apotheosis of Peter I (Allegory of the victory of Poltava)

Unknown artist of the beginning of the XVIII Century
Ukraine (?), Kiev (?)
Around 1710
Canvas, oil paint
141,5 x 126 cm
Receipt: as part of the collection of the Museum of Military history in 1930; until 1917 was in the Museum of the Preobrazhensky Life Guard regiment in St. Petersburg
Showcase 6

This allegoric painting is glorifying the victory of the Russian army under command of Peter I over the Swedes near Poltava. It is based on the engraved print of 1709 made by D.Golyakhovsky under the impression of the Poltava Victory. It was solemnly presented to Peter I in Kiev by his active supporter and professor of the Kyiv-Mogilyaskaya Academy Feofan Prokopovich (later an Archbishop of Novgorod). The battle of Poltava, June 27, 1709 was the main land battle of the Great Northern war. At this battle Russian troops unconditionally defeated the Swedes. This Victory predetermined the outcome of the entire campaign.

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Peter is portrayed riding a horse under the hooves of which could be seen a defeated lion a symbol of Sweden. The trumpeting Angel crowns the winner with a Laurel wreath. On the right are seen Swedish officers handing in their swords as a token of their surrender. In the oval cartouches are scenes of Biblical characters Samson, David, Daniel and Benaiah fighting lions with relevant quotations from the Old Testament. Since the battle of Poltava, Peter was compared with the Biblical Samson. In the lower part of the picture, on the unfolded roll, is written the dedication to the Tsar-Winner: "To by the God given… by the God announced...the Father of our the Small Russia Liberator... in the unforgettable memory of his glorious over the Swedish troops victory". The plot of the engraving was many times repeated in paintings, as well as in works of decorative and applied art of the XVIII Century.