[Back to Library] INTERNET PROJECT «1812 YEAR». LIBRARY.

ABCs of 1812 year

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You have before you the widely reknowned publication entitled A Gift to Children Commemorating the Year 1812, also called simply Terebenev's ABCs. Its creator was Ivan Terebenev (1780-1815), a unique and interesting figure in the annuls of Russian art. Following six years of intensive study, Ivan Terebenev graduated in 1800 with flying colours from the Sculpture Department of the Petersburg Academy of Art. At this time he received the first prize gold medal for his high relief "The Poltavo Battalion", commissioned to face the pedestal of Rastrelli's monument to Peter the Great. His monumental reliefs and statues created for the Admiralty building brought him added fame.

But Ivan Terebenev won widespread popular acclaim by means of his 50 some odd graphic works on the subject of the War of 1812, which, along with caricatures by A. G. Venetzianov and I. A. Ivanov, enjoyed wide appeal throughout Russian society at that time.

In late 1814 Terebenev undertook the publication of his ABCs, for which he had selected 34 of his best drawings, supplementing them with works by Venetzianov and Ivanov. He composed couplets beginning with letters corresponding to the Russian alphabet, and the caricatures were etched sixteen to a signature block and hand painted in watercolour, A Gift to Children became Ivan Terebenev's farewell gift to his fellow countrymen. Terebenev died on January 16, 1815, at the age of 36 and in his artistic prime.

This reprint edition of "Terebenev's ABCs" from the collection of the Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts is a gift to all who cherish Russian history and culture.

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The Internet-project " 1812 ".
© 2000 Prepared for publication by Maxim Gontcharov.
Reproduced from "Terebenev's ABCs" (design by Y.Gaponov), reprint edition, Saint-Peresbourg, 1993.