But this blog is about art, not politics, and Soviet artists produced some great work. Working within the shackles of a stringent political order, these artists nevertheless found a way to let their creativity flourish and express itself. Long derided in the West as a sterile "Socialist realism," Soviet painting has found new appreciation in recent years.
As a way to begin this exploration of Soviet art, perhaps it's appropriate to post a few of the many paintings of the USSR's founder, Lenin. These paintings are obviously overtly political. I promise that will not be the case for most of the postings here!
Aleksandr Gerasimov: Lenin on the Rostrum (1929-30)
Alexey Varlamov: Lenin and Children (1950)
Arkady Plastov: Lenin in Razliv (1949)
Isaak Brodsky: Lenin in Smolny (1930)
Isaak Brodsky: Lenin
Unknown Artist: Painting of a Speech by Lenin
Viktor Serov: Lenin Making a Speech
Viktor Tsyplakov: V. I. Lenin with Peasants (1959)