Tatiana and Olga 2010

Tatiana and Olga  2010

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

July 17th

July 17th

July 17th is an important day in the Romanov enthusiast's world. Of course July 17, 1918 was the day that Russia's last royal family and four others with them were killed in the cellar of the Ipatiev House in Ekaterinburg , Russia.

Ipatiev House itself was torn down in 1977. It was an effort to stem the growing tide of pilgrims seeking to pay homage to the royal family. This was same solution that was tried in 1918 when the family itself was killed, and it had the same useless effect. For on the ruins of the Ipatiev House, a cathedral , called " Church on the Blood "was built and people come from across Russia and the world to pay homage now.

In the early morning of July 17th 1918, a truck carrying the remains of the family and thier four companions, left Ipatiev House . Its destination was Ganina Yama, a 9' deep pit in the Four Brothers mine 15 km north of Ekaterinburg . There the 11 bodies were thrown down into the pit. They were not there long, as the pit proved completely inadequate to hide the corpses.

Most of the remains were buried in a mass grave four miles further away, where the truck, simply got stuck in the mud . The remains lay hidden there for 70 years . Two of the victims were burned separated and those remains were found in 2007

Today , after an all night ceremony, tens of thousands walk in procession from the church following the path the truck took that July morning to the mine pit . This procession grows yearly.

These two events, the truck in 1918 and the processions of today, became one in my mind. In a very real way, the people were following that truck and certainly the truck leads the processions.

So I made a drawing to illustrate this vision and also a video.


After 8 and 1/2 months, I have finished my Anastasia 1917 painting, "the Swan". But I got caught up in completing the July 17th drawing and video in time for today and so have not posted about that. However it's just as well. Because I already found two things I had missed in all that time and need to add them!

Her post will be soon!


  1. I like this sketch a lot and I'd really like to see a painting of it. Could we see a bit more of the procession?

    Also, I'm wondering about the composition. If you had the procession marching straight across the canvas (perhaps one with long dimensions?) you wouldn't have the problem of the big triangles of empty space.

    And I definitely want the truck's headlights to beam their way right out of the picture.

    As always, you are the artist, so take all advice with several grains of salt! Just keep painting!

  2. Thank you for stopping by! I definitely want to revisit this someday. It seemed important to get the idea across in time for this July 17th, and so I went with the quicker water colour.

    I like the angel, but if I follow your excellent advice of having the beams run off, that will help to cut down the vast green space on the right side.

    I believe I want it to be about the truck and horsemen of 1918, and then, oh wait! one sees the procession! Because that would will replicate the moment they came together in my mind.

    But we'll see when I paint it in acrylic.
    Because one never knows what a painting will want to do!

    Thanks again and keep painting!

  3. Turning tragedy into triumph! So glad you worked this up in time for the 17th last week and shared it with all of us. Fantastic as always Anne!

  4. Thank you for your comment! It seemed important to do it for the day this year. A number of people have told me they had no idea there was such crowds...so it's a way to get the word out too . Thanks again!

  5. Hi Anne,

    Thank you very much for all your nice, interesting comments on my Bronte weblog. It is inspiring for me to read it. You know a lot about them and that I like very much. Thank you again.

    Do you still paint much?

    Greetings from Geri from Holland.

  6. Thank you Geri

    I'm glad you like what I post on your excellent Bronte blog, thank you for
    what you post everyday!I find your posts inspiring indeed...you do a great job.
    Did you see your blog is among my links?

    I'm also glad you like my posts because lately I can't help myself! lol

    The Brontes have been quite for years , but lately ,they are in my thoughts again and they want art! Why should the Romanovs have it all? lol They and the Romanovs! Quite a combination! But it works because the Romanovs have soooo many photos and the Brontes do not

    Painting! Oh indeed!

    I just finished a small Romanov painting I will be posting on my blog shortly with its video and I am currently painting one of my major Romanov paintings of the Tsar and Alexi.

    But I am planning a painting of Charlotte and Mr. Nicholls in a portait pair, based on Richmond's portrait of CB and one of Mr. N's photos.

    By studying, I am delving into Richmond's secrets to find my Charlotte portait...and already started the video for the paintings. It will be some time before they are done, but they are in the pipe line.

    Also for weeks now I have had it in my mind to make a painting of Anne leaving for Scarborough ...so I was very interested in your post yesterday. One would have the whole household in church lane,( but for Mr. Bronte) plus Ellen, Mr. Nichollas in such a scene, even the dogs! I can just see Anne in the gig, the others standing around and Charlotte with a blanket ready to place on Anne's lap once Flossy has said goodbye....but all moved by watching Anne with Flossy.

    I'm also thinking of doing a picture of a charming event Sutcliffe Sowden's brother, George, wrote about when he and Sutcliffe stayed the night at the parsonage in Nov of 1854. He said as he came down the steps in the moring , Charlotte was coming up from the cellar pantry with a tea cake to toast for thier breakfast ! Can you imagine? lol Because she wore glasses , one can have an easier time doing her likeness than other wise

    I so love your own Charlotte Snowdrop wedding painting!

    greetings from America and Dank u!