Vladislav Pravdin, To the new achievements of soviet aviation!, 1950
The 1950 poster, ‘To the new successes of Soviet aviation’ by Vladislav Grigorevich Pravdin, shows a paternal Stalin in his Marshal’s uniform, rewarding a Pioneer youth with a view of an airshow from his balcony.
Stalin and the boy are joined by two young men in military uniform, and a pilot, and the sky is full of aeroplanes and parachutes, providing a blaze of festive colour.
The youth holds a model aeroplane, a typical Soviet toy for boys, indicating his desire to grow up to be an aviator. He is supported in this aim by the protective, encouraging arm of Stalin, who indicates with his left hand that the sky is the limit for this boy’s future.
The youth is clean-cut, reverential, yet composed, determined, and not intimidated by Stalin – the sorts of qualities needed in the new Soviet man.
Just as Stalin had been portrayed in media and propaganda as a father to record-breaking pilot Valerii Chkalov, his special paternal attention to this deserving youth will ensure that he follows the correct line for success in the future.
Women are absent from the foreground of the poster, although may be assumed to be present among the indistinct spectators to the show. After the Great Patriotic War, women were encouraged to focus on motherhood and the domestic sphere, rather than become involved in dangerous exploits that might take them away from their families.
Well-known poster artist Vladislav Pravdin (Rykhlov) was a graduate of the Moscow Technical School for Polygraphy and of the Moscow Art Institute. Many of Pravdin’s posters of the 1940s were produced in collaboration with his fellow student, and later fellow member of the Military Artists Studio, Nikolai Denisov.
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.