Friday, June 29, 2012

The Stalin Factory

Here is an artistic paean to Soviet labor.

Mikhail Kostin: In the Stalin Factory (1949)

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Great Patriotic War

Here are some more Soviet paintings of the Great Patriotic War.

 A. I. Vovk: The New Order (1972)

 Boris Fedorov: The Morning of the Tank Drivers (1952-54)

 Georgi Nissky: Off to Defend Moscow on the Leningradskoe Chausee (1942)

 Gleb Savinov: Victory Day (1972)
[depiction of a family celebrating the victory, years later]

 K. Antonov: The Victors

 Konstantin Vasiliev: March "The Motherland's Lament" (1975)

 Kukryniksy: The Flight of Fascists From Novgorod (1944-46)
[about Kukryniksy]

 Marat Samsonov: Little Sister

Mikhail Khmelko: The Triumph of the Conquering People (1949)

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Farm Work

Another set of Soviet paintings of farm work.

 Pavel Kucherov: September (1953)

 Pavel Markov: Morning on the Collective Farm

 S. F. Ivannikova: Saturday Work

 Tatyana Yablonskaya: Sacking Grain (1949)

 Valentin Bogdanov: Shearing Sheep (ca. 1950)

 Vladimir Zajarkin: Resting from Work
[I guess technically this isn't a painting about farm work]
 Vsevolod Petrov-Maslakov: Lunch in the Field

Vyacheslav Andreevich Fedorov: The Rye is Almost Ready (1955)

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Stakhanovite Champs

Here's a blatantly political painting. In the Soviet era, "Stakhanovites" were overachieving workers.

Veniamin Sibirski: Greeting the Stakhanovite Champions, Winners of the Five Year Plan (1963)

Monday, June 25, 2012

Soldiers of the Revolution

Here's a depiction of Lenin leading the Revolution.

Vladimir Kholuyev: Soldiers of the Revolution (1964)

Friday, June 22, 2012

He's Baaaack

Here's a painting of a domestic drama from the Soviet era. As with so many genre paintings, the viewer is invited to imagine the story that is unfolding. The man of the house, the one who has "come back," is clearly in disgrace and a source of fear for the rest of the family. Is he an abusive alcoholic? Or is he in political disgrace and thus a danger to everyone he knows? Where has he come back from? Labor camp, maybe? And what's with all the tiny teacups on the floor by his feet? Who knows? But the characterizations in this painting are very well done: the wife is resigned, the son resentful, and the daughter fearful. As for the man, he's a little more opaque. There's shame and resignation, but something else as well, that's hard to pin down.

Sergei Grigorev: He's Come Back (1954)

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Aleksandr Gerasimov

Aleksandr Gerasimov (1881-1963) was a prominent Soviet artist. His paintings exhibit obvious ties to Impressionism.

A Russian Communal Bath (1945)

 An Orchard in Blossom

 Apple Tree Garden

 Portrait of a Ballerina, Olga Lepeshinskaya (1939)

 Stalin at a Meeting with Commanders (1937)

 The Boating Party

Russian Communal Bath

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Virgin Lands

The Virgin Lands Campaign was introduced by Khrushchev in the 1950; it was an attempt to increase agricultural production by moving settlers into relatively empty regions of the Caucasus and Central Asia. Painters were "encouraged" to hype the campaign.

 Erik Rebane: Into a New Life (1959)

 Smitri Shmelev: Kazakhstan's Virgin Land: Tents on the Frontier

 Vasili Nechitailo: On Kuban Virgin Land (1958)

Vladimir Nekrasov: Just Married, Virgin Lands (1955)

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Changing Roles of Women

One of the bright spots in the legacy of the Soviet Union was the unprecedented empowerment of women entering new roles in society. Of course, few blessings are unmixed: women were, of course, still expected to fulfill the traditional roles (child-rearing, housekeeping, etc.) in addition to their new responsibilities. Still, there is no doubt that there was an expansion of opportunity for women. Some of these are reflected in this group of paintings.

 Aleksei Prokopenko: Mistress of the Volga (1976)

 Igor Simonov: In a Works Laboratory (1961)

 Irina Shevandronova: In a Doctor's Reception Room in the Altai (1953)

 Unknown Artist: Women Workers in Estonia

 Yuri Bosko: A Woman of the Volga (1967)

Vladimir Petrov: Tursunoi Akhunova, the First Uzbek Tractor-Driver, Teaching a Friend

Sergei Boharov: Reunion of Female Pilots

Monday, June 18, 2012

Construction Work

Paintings of construction work were an obvious way to allegorize the building of the new socialist society.

 Alexander Deneyka: Moscow's Building Boom

 Alexandr Samokhvalov: Female Worker Taking Part in the Construction of the Subway (1937)

 Piotr Serapionovich Krokholev: Building the Power Plant (1967)

 Timofej Pustovalov: Asphalting of the Sadovaja-Smolenkaja Street in Moscow (1938)

 V. Zhemerikin: Girls from Magistralnoye

Yuri Pimenov: District of Tomorrow

Friday, June 15, 2012


Here are some Soviet-era paintings depicting parenthood.

 Alexander Lyubimov: Motherhood (1950)

 Boris Mikhailovich Lavrenko: In the Maternity Hospital

 Dementi Shmarinov: The Family (1957)

E. I. Timonina: A Son Was Born

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Konstantin Shurupov

Konstantin Shurupov (1910-1985) was a Soviet painter who was decorated for his service in World War II (the Great Patriotic War). The two paintings here form a good dichotomy: a factory painting and a nature painting.

 Azov Steel Mill (1957)