CLIO mr brice - page 27

so important within the Communist Party
that Chairman Mao Tse Tung of China was
presented with his own personal copy.
As the title suggests, the main focus of this
version of Serov's work from 1954 is Vladimir
Ilyich Ulyanov, later Lenin, the founder of the
Bolshevik Party in 1903 and its leader during
the 1917 Revolution until his death in 1924.
In this painting he is at the historic meeting of
the Second All-Russia Congress of Soviets at
the Smolny Institute in October 1917. He is
presented in a majestic stance above everybody
else, giving him a regal air, which is ironic
really as he was the grand architect behind Tsar
Nicholas II demise in 1917, when he abdicated
his throne before being shot along with his
family by revolutionaries. The propagandistic
element of Socialist Realism is rife within this
painting; the red flag of Communism behind
Lenin, the cheering soldiers and workers
looking up at their representative leader, as well
as the light from the chandelier shining down
on Lenin, mocking the light shining down
from the heavens in renaissance Art.
Interestingly, the three figures behind Lenin,
Josef Stalin, Felix Dzerzhinsky and Yakov
Sverdlov who were all prominent leaders
within the Bolshevik Party, were removed
from renditions of the painting after 1956.
Instead Serov was ordered to replace them with
workers, the true heroes of society according
to the Communist Party, due to the collapse of
the Personality Cult after the 20th Congress of
the Communist Party in 1956.
Alexia Claydon and Dominic Hogan
Revolution
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