Medallion of A.V. Suvorov

Recently, the A.V. Suvorov Museum ordered a custom-made medallion (tail-coat) of Commander A.V. Suvorov himself.

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The great Russian commander is depicted allegorically as the God of Mars, but in antique shells and helmet, and with long, wavy hair. It’s noteworthy that this is a rare depiction, and logically reflects the era of classicism. Other than the well-known statue of Suvorov in Martian Field in Saint-Petersburg, it is rare to find such depictions – he is usually represented more realistically. The most well-known and iconic works are the portrait of Suvorov by artist Joseph Kreutzinger and the engraving by N.I. Utkin. The mediallion was engraved based on a drawing by Johann Friedrich Anthing from the book "Generalissimo Life and Acts, Italiysky book, engraving Suvorov-Rymnitsky," published in Russia in 1804. Anthing was the secretary and adjutant biographer of A.V. Suvorov and was also a silhouette artist. In 1799, he wrote a book titled "Versuch einer Kriegsgesischichte Suworows," which was published in Russia in 1804.

Original engraving
Original engraving

It’s also worth noting that the engraving of the commander is practically ideal in the sense that the viewer pictures the God of Mars rather than a real person. In the actual engraving, Vladimir Nuzhdin steps away from the original image and brings the facial characteristics of the real Suvorov – big, sunken eyes, sharp chin, sunken cheeks, and even his hair doesn’t seem as long as they are portrayed on the engraving. In Nuzhdin’s work, the image is not just of an ancient God, but of a fragile yet tough and strong-willed Suvorov, which is how Russian history familiarly remembers him.

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It’s remarkable that contemporary historians have started comparing Suvorov to the God of War, Mars, as it’s thanks to the commander’s success in battles, of which there were more than 60 during his lifetime.

Historical Reference

Alexander Vasilievich Suvorov (1730-1800) – Russian commander and one of the founders of Russian military art.

Prince of Italy (1799), count Suvorov-Rymyniksky of Russian Empire (1789), prince, royal family relative (cousin of the King) and grandee of the Sardinian Kingdom (1799), count in the Roman Empire (1789).

Supreme commander of the Russian land and naval forces, general field marshall of the Austrian and Sardinian forces, cavalier in all Orders of Russia dedicated to men during his lifetime, as well as many foreign Orders.

As a warlord, Suvorov became famous in the wars between Russia and Turkey (1768-1774 and 1787-1791), the suppressions of the Pugachev Riot and the Polish Uprising of 1794. As a senior at 70 years old, Suvorov pursued two expeditions that went down in Italian and Swiss history. In 2014, as part of the competition “Names of Victory,” Alexander Suvorov was recognized by Russia as the best commander in the history or Russia – about 560,000 people voted for him. George Zhukov came in second, while Alexander Nevsky came in third.