Ten pictures from a new exhibition at the Saatchi Gallery exploring how 20th century Russian artists responded to the Great Patriotic War
Mai Volfovich Dantsig
Born in Minsk in Belorussia in 1930, Dantsig is famous for his monumental paintings of the war with a particular emphasis Soviet Partisans. Belorussia was the hardest-hit Soviet republic during World War II, with two to three million estimated casualties in a brutal campaign that saw swathes of the population murdered by the Nazis and their collaborators.
Igor Pavlovich Obrosov
Obrosov's Wartime Moscow 1941 is a ghostly, Modernist-influenced vision that conjures the thousands of Red Army troops who marched through Moscow's streets to the front line in the bloody battle for the Soviet capital.
Ivan Milevich Penteshin
Closer to a traditional notion of military art, St Petersburg painter Penteshin is renowned for his depictions of scenes from World War Two. Here he re-imagines the defence of Leningrad with a study of an anti-aircraft gun crew on the banks of the River Neva with the city in the distance. The successful defence of Leningrad was one of the turning points of the war on the Eastern Front.
Alexander Ivanovich Laktionov
Strangely reminiscent of Norman Rockwell's vision of post-war America, Laktionov's Letter from the Front cleverly frames the Russian family during wartime in a doorway and bathes them in a summer glow.
Alexsei and Sergei Tkachev
The brothers Tkachev often completed paintings together - as in this impressionistic narrative scene from a Russian village in which three women help bathe a Soviet soldier with water from the well.
Originally created to crown the Soviet pavilion of the World's Fair in 1937, Mukhina's famous Worker and Kolkhoz Woman became one of the defining artworks of the Soviet era and the epitome of Socialist Realism.
Evsey Evseevich Moiseenko
Leningrad artist and People’s Artist of the USSR, Moiseenko’s Freedom captures the moment a Russian Prisoner of War is freed from captivity. It is estimated that out of the 5.7 million Russian soldiers taken captive during World War Two, at least 3.3 million died in Nazi custody.
Mai Volfovich Dantsig
Another painting from the Belorussian Dantsig, this allegorical painting of the Great Patriotic War puts Mother Russia centre stage.
A great Soviet-era artist, Andronov sought to express the characteristic features of national identity by exploring man’s inherent link with the countryside.
Gely Mikhailovich Korzhev
Korzhev's The Reunion offers a later, softened version of the approved style of Soviet-era Socialist Realism painting.
- You can see The Legacy of WWII in Russian Art is at the Saatchi Gallery, Duke of York's HQ, London until April 10 2015.
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