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Portrait of Susanna Bloch - painting by Spanish artist Pablo Picasso in Paris in 1904 by the end of his blue period. The subject, Suzanne Bloch, was a singer known…

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Socialist realism

Social realism as a way of perceiving reality and labor in an embellished form appeared in the USSR in the 1930s and was intended to replace the “bourgeois” art, which then belonged to everything that does not sing the “man of action.” Being ridiculed by Mikhail Bulgakov in The Master and Margarita, such an approach ordered the artist to relate to his art “according to workdays”: how many blessings he received, so much text he had to pass. In the same way as in the writers’ union (invented by Bulgakov MASSOLIT) “if you have a trip for a week, then the writer must pass the story, for two weeks – the story, and only for three weeks in the“ Swallow Nest ”in Crimea – and the whole novel can be” .
In alliance with the revolution?
Such unions, punishing and testing the activities of people of liberal professions were introduced in all areas. Thus, in the early 1930s, the People’s Commissar Lunacharsky devoted a series of articles in the Izvestia newspaper to new realism as a style in which writers and artists should strive to work. The new trend in the area of ​​1932 led to the punitive actions of all kinds of unions of artists, writers, artists, etc. and became synonymous with such an organization of the literary process, which leaves no room for any “initiative” outside the control of the verifying Unions. Thus, the famous art workshops VHUTEMAS were generally disbanded and transferred to St. Petersburg in the form of VHUTEIN. Despite this, Alexander Deineka, Yuri Pimenov and other artists continued to work in a new style, pleasing to the authorities. The term “socialist realism” was first proposed by the Chairman of the Organizing Committee of the Union of Writers of the USSR Ivan Gronsky in the Literary Gazette on May 23, 1932.
Happy work for the good of society
Social realism, Deineka Socialist Realism are happy geologists looking for oil in the taiga forests, these are cheerful forest rafting workers, these are engineering students at the fountains designed by their teachers, even the basketball players on the beach feel the happiness of work and well-deserved rest after it, which is all equal to the work (for example, not playing cards, namely, high physical culture).
Deineka’s posters, “Mechanizing Donbass,” and “Sportswoman,” lead to the same thing: the cult of manual labor and mechanization, as well as the work of Vera Mukhina, “Worker and Kolkhoz Woman”. Soviet cinema supported these painting tendencies: say, a 1934 musical film by Grigory Alexandrov “Jolly Fellows” or 1938 “Volga-Volga” about workers who organized a competition on who would more quickly overtake the social realism barge, Deineka, Mechanizing Donbass Forest. Both films are distinctly “socialist realistic”, their characters rise up to the struggle for enhanced labor. The most “socialist-realistic” film can be called the Shining Path, filmed in 1940 and showing happy work in the USSR, where a girl from a nanny in the village goes the way of a multi-working woman, an example to imitate her young colleagues, getting to the Exhibition of National Economic Achievements in Moscow and getting a medal almost from the hands of the Leader of the Nations himself.
Without fantasy, closer to reality
In fact, the optimism of socialist realism is incredibly infectious and, despite “workaholism,” as we would call such a reverent attitude to work and chanting it in all forms, social realism is very attractive. For comparison, see avant-garde paintings and an article about the path of his artists. Only labor for the benefit of the family is ignored, the family in social realism, like all personal, is sacrificed for work. But was everything really sacrificed for the work of artists? It seems that there is not: after all, much in art turned out to be “cut off”, “forbidden” – say, like the same novel “The Master and Margarita”, which did not fit into the framework of realism (unlike the “Days of the Turbins”). What has become a fraternity of artists or writers?
All the same MASSOLIT (parody of the Union of Writers at Bulgakov) was embodied in the restaurant “Griboedov” The association of writers in the novel is a symbol not writing, but chewing brothers, a symbol of turning literature into a source of satisfaction unlimited appetites. In MASSOLIT they are anxious to get vouchers, apartments, constant intrigues, vicious revelations, “Pereygian” dachas, everything except art.
And how did the art of socialist realism declare itself? Yes, in the literature this was done by Vladimir Mayakovsky and Konstantin Simonov, Arkady Gaidar with “Timur and his team.” But in fact, socialist realism turned out to be much more noticeable in painting and cinema than in the literature, from which the appeal to it was originally issued. The call of the authorities, which already in 1934 at the 1st All-Union Congress of Writers, made it clear that social realism is not one of the possibilities, but the only way for the possible further existence of artists,  avant-garde paintings.
Despite the fact that the art of socialist realism has become “court”, it still reached the heights of perfection, which we now admire. Pictures of Pimenov and Deineka – unsurpassed masterpieces of this style – were written in the most terrible time of hunger and repression. Similar to “Stalin’s empire in architecture”

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