Title of the article:



Irina I. Rutsinskaya

Information about the author/authors

Irina I. Rutsinskaya — DSc in Culturology, Docent, Lomonosov Moscow State University, Leninskie gory 1, Bldg. 13, 119234 Moscow, Russia. E-mail irinaru2110@gmail.com


History of Arts




Vol. 55


pp. 258–271


July 11, 2019

Date of publication

March 28, 2020



Index UDK


Index BBK



The abundance of congresses and meetings held in Stalin era in the USSR, their propaganda and increased attention from the state and the press inevitably made these events an integral and important part and subject for the official painting. The most titled and favored masters of the Soviet art created paintings on this topic. However, visual representations of Soviet Congresses never attracted any special scientific interest. This fact determined the novelty of this study, for the first time exploring iconographic schemes, compositional and coloristic features of paintings dedicated to Soviet Congresses. The author considers Soviet Congress to be the most important state ritual with its own set of ideological functions. The paper proves that it was painting that most consistently conveyed to the viewers symbolic significance of the depicted events. The research also demonstrates that the artists deliberately ignored the requirements of documentary accuracy, introducing iconic objects and “intensifying” the color palette. Furthermore the paper dwells on the process of working on paintings of the Congress theme, analyzing the use of clichés and formulas repeated from work to work. The author comes to the conclusion that in an effort of reflecting the “historical role” of Soviet Congresses, the artists outlined to the extreme their representative features and ritual essence. Unlike verbal texts, asserting the existence of real pragmatic functions of each Congress, painting exposed their simulative nature.


congress, representation, ritual, simulacrum, Soviet painting, social realism, Stalin era.


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