** Soviet boys' clothes in art: Jury Raksha

Russian Artists: Arkardy Plastov (1893-1972)

Figure 1.--This painting by Arkady Plastov man have been entitelt, "March in the country". It was painted in 1965. This is not how Stalin wanted tractors portrayed. He saw them as his contribution to the moderizarion of Soviet agricultyure. He wanted to see jubileent peasants, joyful and dancing, The wanbted to see them cheering and waving flags and bammers when the tractors arrived at the new collective farms -- the koklhozes. This work could not have been poainted while Stalin was still alive. The result was, however, plummetung production, in part because Stalin ordered the NKVD to destroy the peasantry. They killed the kulaks -- the best farmers in the country. The tractor abd truck factories beiung built was mostly designed by American enginners. Abd they were built with a dual pirpose in mind, to builf both tractirs snd tanks. This is a Soviet postcard reproduction, expalining the poor qulity. c

Arkady Plastov ia highly prolific an acclaimd as impftant Russiana artist. He won the Stalin Prize of the first degree (1946) and was made a an Academician of the USSR Academy of Arts (1947). Many other prestigious awards followeds. This is interesting because his work focused on the peasantry. And the peantry was not of any great intetest to Stalin who was acgtually murdering peasants, especially Ukranians peasants, in their millions. We see beautiful images of rural landscapes, portraits of contemporaries, and symolatheric scenes of peasant life. H was was born in the village of Prislonikha, the in the Volga Federal District, south central Russia east of the Urals. He was destined to become an artist, in part because his father and grandfather were the village iconographers and he showed an early aptitude. He was interested in both sculpture and apiantung. He studied at the Stroganov Central School of Industrial Art (1912-14)and then in the Moscow School of Painting, Sculpture and Architecture, the sculpture department (1914-17). Despite the war, he was not deafted. While still at school, , he studied painting Moscow workshops (AE Arkhipov, AS Stepanov, and AM Vasnetsov). He reurned to Prislonikha where he worked. He became one if the freat artists of the Soviet peasantry. Besides painting, hed did both illustration and easel drawing. His works became classics of 20th centutry Russiana art. With is focus on the peasantry during the 1920s-30s, this was quite anchievement. Symoathetic depictions of the peaantry very easily could have got him arrested ny tghe NKVD and a ticket to the Gulag. He apparentky understood the danger. He dutifully painted traditional Soviet pictures with political messages, incuding depictions of Lenin and collective farm holidays. His treaytment of tractors is notable. Stalin wanted to see happy, dancing images of dancing, well fed peasants in Soviet art. Pity the clueless Soviet artist that did not understnd this. As he was producung hese, apparentky this bought space for symnpathetic depctions of peasant life. And some of his best work as after Stalin did (1953). His paitings have been used as illiustratons in school textbooks. These later images are now very popular in Russia.


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Created: 5:45 AM 1/21/2011
Last updated: 11:45 AM 2/12/2011