Friday, August 26, 2011
Pimenov's Moscow Dreaming
The scene above is "New Moscow," painted in 1937 by Yury Ivanovich Pimenov (1903-77).
It's summertime: the sun shines and the convertible's top has been lowered. Driving is a young lady with a stylish dress and a hairdo that might have been fashionable in Moscow at the time and not all that far behind what Parisian women would be wearing.
This is in the era of Socialist Realism where artists had to toe the Communist Party line and present it in a manner accessible to the "masses." So presumably Pimenov is putting a gloss on the results of the first Five Year Plan, showing a level of material comfort found in Moscow right now in 1937!
There are other cars on the street along with some buses. Perhaps some new, tall buildings in the background. I don't recognize what street is depicted (can anyone help?), but it probably isn't far from Red Square.
Very prosperous looking. And very bourgeois for a socialist paradise.
Hmm. Summertime 1937 in Moscow. What else might have been happening that bright, bourgeois day? Oh yes. On the 12th of June that year the famous Marshal Mikhail Tukhachevsky was found guilty of "espionage" in one of Stalin's purge trials and shot in the back of his head a few hours later.