Monumental Propaganda

Posted on 4th September 2013 by simonbeattie

Lenin’s Plan for Monumental Propaganda was the first concerted attempt by the Soviet government to erect statues and monuments to the new communist state.  The project envisaged the removal of Tsarist-era statues and the installation of a number of different sculptures, reliefs and other monuments honouring the ‘Russian Socialist Revolution’.  The list of suitable candidates to be commemorated included a number of foreign socialists as well as musicians, artists, and scientists.  Among the new heroes was the Symbolist painter Mikhail Vrubel (1856–1910).  At the time the statues were erected small propaganda booklets, such as this one, were produced to explain to the masses who the subjects were, and why they were being commemorated.  This one contains an essay on Vrubel and an image of the original statue, made by A. M. Giurdzhan.

The vast majority of the statues erected as part of Lenin’s Plan were temporary, made of gypsum and other cheap materials, and so were ruined over the following winters.  The Vrubel statue was apparently destroyed ‘by mistake’ in 1918, even before the booklet on it had been published.

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One response to “Monumental Propaganda”

  1. Betty Auman says:

    so many of the beautiful artifacts of the Tsarist period . . . gone

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