Iraklii Toidze compendium, images of Stalin
As Iraklii Toidze is my favourite of the Stalinist poster artists, and this blog will draw to a close soon, I have decided to break with tradition and include several Toidze posters in a single edition.
Iraklii Moiseevich Toidze was born on March 14 (27) in 1902 in Tbilisi (Tiflis), Georgia. Son of the famous artist and architect Moiseia Toidze, Iraklii studied with his father and graduated from the Tbilisi Academy of Arts in 1930.
Toidze was a founding member of RevMas (the Tiflis branch of AKhR) with his father from 1928 and its successor SaRMa (Georgian Association of Revolutionary Artists) from 1931.
Toidze is well-known for having produced some of the most iconic and emotive poster images of the Great Patriotic War.
Important exhibitions included:
Fifteen Years of the Workers' and Peasants' Red Army, Moscow 1933
Twenty Years of the Workers' and Peasants' Red Army, Moscow 1938
Industry of Socialism, Moscow 1939
All-Union Art Exhibition, Moscow 1946, 47, 49, 50, 55.
Toidze was the recipient of several Stalin Prizes:
1941 Painting (1st class) - illustration of the poem "The Knight in the Panther's Skin" by Shota Rustaveli (1937)
1948 Painting (1st class) - for "Speech I. Stalin at the solemn meeting devoted to the 24th anniversary of the Great October Socialist Revolution "and a portrait I. Stalin
1949 Painting (2nd class) - illustrations for the book "Anthology of Georgian poetry"
1951 Graphics (3rd class) - for a series of illustrations for the book "History of Georgia"
Toidze was also awarded the Order of the Red Banner of Labour.
B. Lebeșev, Opera "Khoroglu", 1939
This Azerbaijani poster by graphic artist B. Lebesev depicts a performance of the opera Khoroglu at the Azerbaijani State Opera and Ballet Theatre.
Based on episodes from the Epic of Koroghlu, the five-act opera premiered on April 30, 1937 and is still frequently performed today. The opera premiered in Moscow in 1938, although was only performed in full in Russian in 1943.
Considered to be composer Uzeyir Hajibeyov's finest work, Khoroglu won him a USSR State Prize in 1941.
In this poster, the ubiquitous red banner of Lenin-Stalin has morphed into a theatre curtain. A lifelike sketch of Stalin in colour sits before a moon-like bas-relief of Lenin, and both look to the right - the direction of the future.
This forward-looking symbolism is made explicit in the poster caption in Azerbaijani: Opera "Khoroglu" - a new stage in the development of the Azerbaijani opera.
On the stage, in 16th-century costume, is Khoroglu himself. Avenging the unjust blinding of his father and the terrible conditions in which the people live, Khoroglu gathers an army of rebels and ultimately overthrows the despotic Hassan Khan.
The bottom of the poster features a band of beautiful Azerbaijani folk design. The poster was published in Baku, Azerbaijan in 1939.
Mikhail Reikh, For Communism!..., 1948
A 1948 Uzbek poster by Mikhail Reikh celebrates communist post-war abundance and depicts Stalin as the sun.
The poster is dominated by a bust of Stalin emblazoned across a red sky. Stalin appears like the rising sun, illuminating the Uzbek people below who look to the sky, arms outstretched to offer thanks to the source of fertility and abundance.
In their arms, the Uzbek people hold offerings of bouquets of cotton. Ears of wheat and blossoming roses surround the poster caption.
"For communism! So youth exclaims, and this cry is heard in the distance. Youth swears allegiance, Comrade Stalin is the sun of all the earth!"
The caption appears in both Uzbek and Russian and names Stalin as the sun. It is taken from a letter signed by 26,474,646 Komsomol and youth on 3 November 1947.
The full text of the poem in the letter reads:
In the newly illuminated country of the Soviets,
Mikhail Reikh was born in 1904 (in Turkmenistan?). Arriving in Uzbekistan in 1924, he had a long and successful career as a painter, cartoonist, illustrator and graphic artist. He died in Moscow in 1966.
Dr Anita Pisch
Anita’s new, fully illustrated book, The personality cult of Stalin in Soviet posters, 1929 -1953, published by ANU Press, is available for free download here, and can also be purchased in hard copy from ANU Press.
SPotW61 Babitskii 1944
SPotW62 Pen Varlen 1942
SPotW63 Bayuskin 1942
SPotW64 Belopol'skii 1950
SPotW65 Belopol'skii 1952
SPotW66 Dlugach 1933
SPotW67 Zhitomirskii 1942
SPotW68 Toidze 1949
SPotW69 Mikhailov 1937
SPotW70 Cheprakov 1939
SPotW76 Toidze 1943
SPotW77 Futerfas 1936
SPotW78 Mukhin 1945
SPotW79 Golub' 1948
SPotW80 Karpovskii 1948