Monday, 24 May 2010

Soviet Iconography

Iconography was also used in Soviet Russia to symbolise strength and power under communism.
In spite of the fact that photography was the revolutionary medium of the nineteenth century, invented during the years when Marx produced his major writing, he never mentions it except as another kind of ‘industry’. (Mitchell, 1986 :179)
The assumption that photography is an inherently realistic medium is very congenial with Marx’s own expressed preference for realism in literature and painting (Mitchell, 1986 :179)
And in the visual arts, Engels suggests that the leaders of the revolution should not be glorified but should
“Be finally depicted in strong Rembrandtian colors, in all their living qualities. Hitherto these people have never been pictured in their real form; they have been presented as official personalities, wearing buskins and with aureoles around their heads. In these apotheoses of Raphaelite beauty all pictorial truth is lost” (Mitchell, 1986 :179)
“Rembrandtian” was, as it happens, one of the terms applied to the daguerreotype; Samuel Morse called the new images “Rembrandt perfected” in 1939. (Mitchell, 1986 :179-180)
The ‘realism’ celebrated here is not, however, an optical, scientific reconstruction of vision – Vermeer would have been the right analogy for that sort of realism. And it is not ‘historical’ in the sense of traditional history painting (‘apotheoses of Raphaelite beauty’), but an image of real history, of flesh-and-blood creatures in their material circumstances. This image replaces the traditional ‘aureole’ around the figure with a new sort of aura – the ‘living qualities’ of the subject (Mitchell, 1986 :180)
Iconography of the Worker
The creation of a compelling visual language proved to be particularly critical in the campaign to establish the ‘working class’ as the heroic collectivity of the Bolshevik revolution and of world history more generally (Bonnell, 1997:22)
The Bolsheviks faced the task not only of establishing the heroic position and role of the worker but also of bringing an image of the new worker-heroes to the population at large. Verbal propaganda, however ubiquitous, could not achieve this objective (Bonnell, 1997:22)
Given the diverse cultural background of the population, they drew on a variety of sources: religious and folk art, classical mythology, Russian painting, and the imagery of Western European labor and revlolutionary movements (Bonnell, 1997:23)
Before long, a new iconography had arisen in Soviet Russia, with its own distinctive lexicon and syntax (Bonnell, 1997:23)
As in the religious art of the Orthodox tradition, a set of standardized image was created, depicting worker-heroes (saints) and class enemies (the devil and his accomplices) (Bonnell, 1997:23)
The two aspects of the worker image – contemplation and action – also characterized the imagery of Hercules in the French Revolution (Bonnell, 1997:27)
Pride, dignity and strength
The 1927 poster, ‘Oktiabr’ na severnom Kavkaze’ (October in the Northen Caucasus)
Here the traditional worker carries a red flag with the inscription: “With the Leninist party for the victory of the worldwide October Revolution, 1917-1927”. Photographs of six leading Bolsheviks (Lenin and party heroes of the Caucasus) are in the center of the frame. In this poaster and in many others of the late 1920s, the blacksmith acquired a far narrower focus than ever before. (Bonnell, 1997:27)

Anon (1927) Oktiabr’ na severnom Kavkaze (October in the Northern Caucasus.)
The worker, himself, needed no other figure to establish his position in the hierarchy of heroes. (Bonnell, 1997:28)
Only the Red Army soldier, a depicted during the Civil War, occupied a syntactic position similar to that of the worker (Bonnell, 1997:28)
Aleksandr Mateev’s famous monumental sculpture completed in 1927, Ostiabr’skaia revoliuttsiia (October Revolution), illustrates the visual language that was used to depict heroic figures. The sculpture shows three nearly naked men. The Red Army soldier, identified by his Budennyi hat, is kneeling, the worker stands in the center, resting his arm on his hammer; the bearded peasant sits, his left hand outstretched. The commanding presence of the worker in this composition leaves no doubt about the hegemonic status of the proletariat. The constellation of figures and their hierarchical arrangement betoken a particular worldview – a view propagated by te Bolshevik party and enshrined in its official ideology (Bonnell, 1997:28)
Mateev, Alekdandr (1927) Oktiabr’skaia revoliutsiia (October Revolution). Wikimedia Commons: Alexandr Terentyevich Matveev (2010):
The worker-icon, initially representing the broad category of collective heroes of the revolution and later the more select group of Bolshevik worker-heroes, was rooted in a symbolic tradition of representation (Bonnell, 1997:38)
During the 1930s, the imagery of the worker in political propaganda had a different purpose. Now the image of the worker functioned as a model, an ideal type (Bonnell, 1997:38)
The artist’s task marked a fundamental shift from a symbolic representation of the past and present to a new mode of visual representation which depicted the present not as it actually was but as it should become (Bonnell, 1997:38)
In the Soviet lexicon, the term tipazh implied a correct rendering of a particularly social category (Bonnell, 1997:38)
The correct tipazh required that the image of the worker convey a certain demeanor and expression (Bonnell, 1997:39)
One poster critic wrote in 1933, the depiction of the worker should include a ‘healthy, lively, intelligent, intellectual face. He is the prototype of the new man, a combination of physical strength, energy, fortitude and intelligence (Bonnell, 1997:39)

1930s Photomontage
Photomontage marked a sharp departure from the previous style of representing the worker (Bonnell, 1997:39)
Photographs, unlike drawings and paintings, projected an aura of objectivity and were based on the principle of realistic as opposed to symbolic representation (Bonnell, 1997:39-40)
The power of the image derived from its seemingly authentic representation of the real world, its verisimilitude (Bonnell, 1997:40)
Relying on actual photographs, political artists developed a new approach to the problem of representing workers in the Stalinist era. (Bonnell, 1997:40)
Instead of subsuming all workers into a single image of the blacksmith or creating vague and abstract images of a multiplicity of identical worker-silhouettes, they began to portray workers as miners, construction workers, metalworkers, textile workers, and so on (Bonnell, 1997:40)
There was no longer a single prototype of the worker (Bonnell, 1997:40)
By 1920, Bolshevik artists had generated distinctive images that incorporated elements from various traditions but were also unmistakably expressive of the Bolshevik ethos (Bonnell, 1997:7)
These were the new icons – standardized images that depicted heroes (saints) and enemies (the devil and his accomplices) according to a fixed pattern (the so-called podlinnik in church art) (Bonnell, 1997:7)
[The icons of soviet political art] were part of a system of signs imposed by the authorities in an effort to transform mass consciousness (Bonnell, 1997:7-8)
Like other ‘invented traditions’, these iconographic images were consistent and incessantly repeated, and they resonated strongly with mythologies from the Russian past (Bonnell, 1997:8)
I begin by discussing the icon of the worker, a pervasive image of the very core of Bolshevik rhetoric (Bonnell, 1997:8)
The worker-icon provides a versatile symbol of changing official conceptions of the proletarian basis of political power (Bonnell, 1997:8)
It also conveys important ideas about the location of the sacred in Soviet society, since the proletariat was designated the equivalent of the chosen class in Bolshevik ideology and possessed superhuman powers capable of transforming nature in accordance with the ‘laws’ of Marxism-Leninism (Bonnell, 1997:8)
Through the creation and re-creation of the worker-icon, the Bolsheviks sought to assert their continuity with the past and their vision of the future (Bonnell, 1997:8)
From 1919 to 1930, a single iconographic image of the worker-blacksmith predominated in Bolshevik visual propaganda. After 1930, however, the blacksmith is seldom encountered in political art. A new image of the worker takes its place (Bonnell, 1997:8)
The transformation of the worker-icon in the 1930s coincides with the general decline in the representation of workers in political art and the shift of the sacred centre to a new locus (Bonnell, 1997:8)
The term ‘iconography’ is, of course, borrowed from art history, where it has been applied by such scholars as Erwin Panofsky (Bonnell, 1997:19)
Nearly everyone who lived in Russia after 1917 had some familiarity with stock images of the male worker, the great leaders, the peasant woman, the capitalist, and others (Bonnell, 1997:19)
Images mean nothing by themselves, taken in isolation from their historical context. They acquire meaning only when seen with a ‘period eye’, to use Baxandall’s phrase (Bonnell, 1997:19)
The most important image in the visual lexicon, which remained part of the standard iconography until 1930, was that of the proud worker who represented a victorious proletariat (Bonnell, 1997:74)
Early Soviet Iconography – The Blacksmith
Although the party had no single visual image of the worker when it took power, a year later the representation of ‘the worker’ had acquired a definite form. He was almost invariably depicted as a kuznets, or blacksmith (Bonnell, 1997:23)
Aleksandr Apsit’s poster ‘God proletarsko diktatuury oktiabr’ 1917-octiabr’ 1918’ (Year of the Proletarian Dictatorship, October 1917-October 1918), produced for the first anniversary of the October Revolution, can be considered the first major statement of a new images in Bolshevik iconography (Bonnell, 1997:23)
clip_image001 Apsit, Aleksandr (1918) God proletarskoi diktatury oktiabr’ 1917-octiabr’ 1918 (Year of the Proletarian Dictatorship, October 1917-October 1918).
Description of Poster
A long, winding demonstration of people with red flags is visible, with a factory and the stylised rays of a rising sun in the background. The debris of the old order (imperial shield, crown, double-headed eagle, chains) are strewn across the foreground. The worker on the left has a mustache and wears a leather apron and boots. His right hand rests on the handle of his hammer, and he has a rifle on his back. Opposite him stands the male peasant, wearing a Russian shirt and bast shoes and holding a scythe in his right hand and a red banner in his left. Each man has a red ribbon hanging above them. The man who created this poster, Apsit, was born in Latvia, the son of a blacksmith. One of the earliest and most distinguished poster artists of the Civil War years, Apsit helped to create an image of the blacksmith that soon acquired archetypal status in Bolshevik visual propaganda (Bonnell, 1997:26)
The blacksmith’s distinctive markers were his hammer (molot), a leather apron, and sometimes an anvil. Typically, he had a mustache (a beard was associated with the male peasant), a Russian shirt, and boots (peasants wore bast shoes). Sometimes, he was presented as bare to the waist, but more often he wore a shirt. He was neither youthful nor particularly old; generally, he had the appearance of a mature and experienced worker (Bonnell, 1997:23)
The exceptional significance and role of the blacksmith were reinforced by Slavic folklore, which contains many references to the blacksmith, who was thought to possess concealed sacred abilities. Wedding songs spoke of the blacksmith as hammering out the wedding crown, the ring, the wedding itself. (Bonnell, 1997:30)
The blacksmith had godlike features and could perform heroic feats (Bonnell, 1997:30)
The earliest examples of this image derive from ancient Greece and Rome, where the Greek god Hephaestus (Roman: Vulcan) appeared with hammer in hand (Bonnell, 1997:30)
In the course of 1919, the image of the male blacksmith began to function as a virtual icon in the Bolshevik visual propaganda, confirming to a fixed pattern (Bonnell, 1997:23-24)
The blacksmith appeared in posters and holiday displays, on stamps and official seals, even on pottery and fabric (Bonnell, 1997:24)
Images of the blacksmith, in particular, served as a symbol for all types of workers associated with the new age of manufacturing (Bonnell, 1997:31-32)
No other visual symbol – except for the emblems of the red star and the hammer and sickle, introduced in the spring of 1918 – was as widely disseminated in Bolshevik Russia or as closely associated with the new regime. The image remained central until 1930, and then was abandoned (Bonnell, 1997:24)
The well-known May Day poster by Nikolai Kochergin, ‘I-oe maia 1920 goda’ (May 1 1920), […] shows three figures in profile stride confidently over the debris of the old regime (crown, insignia, etc). A male worker with a hammer over his shoulder is flanked on one side by a bearded male peasant with a scythe and on the other (in the foreground) by a buxom peasant woman (Bonnell, 1997:81)
She wear a kerchief, a Russian blouse, and a skirt with an apron and carries a sickle. The poster is a classic example of early Boshevik iconography (Bonnell, 1997:81)
clip_image002[5] Kochergin, Nikolai (1920) 1-oe maia 1920 goda (May 1 1920).


Visual imagery of men and women […] conveys important messages about relations of domination and subordination, both in the realm of social interaction and in the broader sphere of political life (Bonnell, 1997:8)
The depiction of gender has particular significance in periods when authority relations are in flux, such as the Civil War years and the 1930s (Bonnell, 1997:8)
Civil War posters depicted a predominantly male world. Women were often represented allegorically until 1920, when images of the woman worker and the peasant woman first become established (Bonnell, 1997:8)
These new, more realistic female images were usually depicted in a subordinate relationship to male workers and peasants, thereby conveying the idea that women had only a weak claim to membership in the pantheon of heroes (Bonnell, 1997:8-9)
[Women] appear very prominently in connection with the campaign for the collectivisation of agriculture beginning in 1930 (Bonnell, 1997:9)
[…] in contrast to the emphasis on female imagery in the iconography of the French Revolution or nineteeth-century labor movements in England and France (the countries from which [Eric Hobsbawm’s] major examples are drawn), socialist iconography gradually excluded female images (Bonnell, 1997:18)
[…] from 1930 onward, Soviet imagery underwent a major transformation, bringing female pesants into prominence, while downgrading the importance of the worker (male and female) (Bonnell, 1997:18)
The imagery of the worker in late nineteenth-century and early twentieth century socialist iconography is overwhelmingly male, and Soviet visual propaganda conformed to this pattern (Bonnell, 1997:23)
Since women virtually never served as blacksmiths’ helpers, the imagery can only be interpreted allegorically (Bonnell, 1997:23)
The female worker derived heroic status from her association with the male worker. She holds the hot metal on the anvil=altar while he fashions it into a new object =world. Her representation as his helper reinforces the theme of male leadership, or as we now put it, male domination in the ranks of the proletariat (Bonnell, 1997:23)
Images of Lenin appear early in political posters, increasing in frequency and prominence after his death in 1924 (Bonnell, 1997:9)
It is not until the early 1930s that representations of political leaders – particularly Stalin – are centrally featured (Bonnell, 1997:9)
Stalin, depicted as a living god, moves to center stage in visual propaganda, displacing both his predecessor Lenin and the proletariat as the core elements in Bolshevik mythology (Bonnell, 1997:9)
In contrast to other iconographic images […], the representation of enemies shows a good deal of continuity between 1917 and 1953, due to the consistent application of standard styles of satire and caricature (Bonnell, 1997:9)
The second political poster issued by the Bolsheviks in the summer of 1918 attempted to give precise coordinates for three key figures in Bolshevik demonology. This poster, created by an anonymous artist and entitled ‘Tsar, pop I kulak’ (Tsar, Priest, and Kulak) was issued in many different versions designed for particular national and ethnic populations (Bonnell, 1997:188)
The lengthy text that accompanies the rather primitive drawing exhorts ‘comrade peasants! The peasant poor’ to take heed of kulaks and priests who were uniting against the soviets and in support of the tsar because they feared poor peasants (Bonnell, 1997:188)
From the point of view of iconography, the poster provides a remarkable illustration of iconographical experimentation in representing two social groups designated as leading ‘enemies’ of the revolution: the kulak and the priest. (Bonnell, 1997:188)
clip_image002[7] Anon (1918) Tsar’, pop I kulak (Tsar, priest and Kulak). Smith College Museum of Art: Exhibitions: Godless Communists: Soviet Antireligious Propaganda (2010): godlesscommunists/tsar_priest_kulak.htm
Whereas the image of the tsar remains constant in various versions, the representation of the priest and the kulak shifts, depending on the subpopulation that is addressed (Bonnell, 1997:188)
The iconography used to represent enemies and those who vanquish them often reverts back to earlier patterns, with a giant worker or a giant arm and fist crushing miniscule enemies (Bonnell, 1997:260)
Russian Orthodox Church and Religious Iconography
In old regime Russia, allegorical images – both male and female – played a major part in the pageantry and symbolic system of both the autocracy and the Church (Bonnell, 1997:70)
The most central image, which provided a ‘cultural frame’ for organizing political narratives under the old regime, was that of St George. The legend of St George was depicted in religious iconography, folk art, and the political art of the tsarist government. During the First World War, the tstarist government had repeatedly used the image of St George in its political propaganda (Bonnell, 1997:70)
clip_image001[6] Anon (14th Century), Russian Icon: St George and the Dragon. Olga’s Gallery: Icons (2010):
In the system of representation in religious icons, the Mother of God occupied a central place. (Bonnell, 1997:66)
[…] N Grzelishvili’s Comrade Stalin in His Early Years, with the young Stalin expounding his ideas to an admiring crowd, may have reminded viewers of religious icons showing the life of Christ in its various phases. (Bonnell, 1997:167-168)
The association between Stalin and Christ was scarcely a novelty in the late 1930s. ‘Icons’ of Stalin had become a familiar part of public life. (Bonnell, 1997:168)
Certain symbolic forms probably recalled religious icons. (Bonnell, 1997:146)
[…] Soviet artists borrowed a number of key features from icons [from the Russian Orthodox Church] and used them to sacralize the new worker-hero (Bonnell, 1997:32)
Color symbolism in political posters also resonated with religious art. (Bonnell, 1997:32)
The color red served in religious icons to identify the sacred (black was the color of evil). (Bonnell, 1997:32)
To be sure, the color red also had positive connotations in Western European socialist art. But the great majority of Russian spectators were probably more familiar with the icon, which graced many huts and urban households, than with European art. (Bonnell, 1997:32)
The extensive use of the color red, the distorted perspective (Lenin is far larger than the sun, the globe, and the worker and peasant, just as Christ was sometimes flanked by two apostles), and the circular frame that surrounds Lenin (Christ was often situated in an oval frame) must have been familiar to Russians accustomed to the conventions of religious icons (Bonnell, 1997:146)
Take the case of religious icons, undoubtedly the most familiar visual medium before 1917. Icons used certain key devices, such as color symbolism, to convey meaning (Bonnell, 1997:13)
People accustomed to viewing icons knew that red was a holy color, used in connection with figures worthy of veneration (Bonnell, 1997:13)
When Bolshevik artists used red to represent workers, they were invoking a long-standing convention in color symbolism familiar to most Russians (Bonnell, 1997:13)
These visual analogies were reinforced by written and verbal comments of contemporaries who used religious terminology to describe Lenin, a trend that began in the aftermath of the Kaplan assassination attempt. (Bonnell, 1997:146)
Although the architects of the emerging cult of Lenin borrowed extensively from the Russian Orthodox Church in crafting verbal and visual symbols for the vozhd’, they were careful to produce images that appeared discontinuous with tsarist iconography. (Bonnell, 1997:146)
clip_image002[9] Sokolov, A (1922) Pust’ gospodstvuiushchie klassy sodrogaiutsia pered kommunisticheskoi revoliutsiei (Let the Ruling Classes Shudder before the Communist Revolution). Rene Wanner’s Poster Page: Web Poster Exhibition: Déjà vu Posters (2010):
In all of these representations, Lenin invariably appeared in certain clothing and standard poses. The fixity of his appearance, like some of the other features of the posters, had much in common with religious icons and folk traditions. (Bonnell, 1997:147)
A poster produced in the fall of 1920, Da zdravstvuet pobeda truda (Long Live the Victory of Labour), incorporated oneo f the most important symbols of religious art: the cross. (Bonnell, 1997:32)
Anon (1920) Da zdravstvuet pobeda truda (Long Live the Victory of Labour).
Description of Poster
In this remarkable poster, a blacksmith is seated on top of an altar and surrounded by a globe and the works of Karl Marx. The altar rests on a platform, and the entire structure bears resemblance to the shape of a cross. The blacksmith holds a hammer in his right hand; his left hand is raised, bearing a wreath encircling a hammer and sickle. Scenes depicting the past and present surround the central image, much as marginal scenes (kleima) appear in icons, conveying characteristic episodes from the life of a saint. (Bonnell, 1997:32)
Tsarist Iconography
There was also a key female figure in tsarist iconography: the image of Russia. (Bonnell, 1997:71)
The visual representation of Russia as a woman corresponded to the word rodina, or motherland, etymologically connected to the word rodit’, to give birth. (Bonnell, 1997:71)
In contrast to the lavish ceremonial occasions, military parades, and scenes of the tsar’s family that provided material for old regime iconography, Leniniana cultivated the image of Lenin as a simple and modest man whose outstretched arm projected a new type of power. (Bonnell, 1997:146)
The device of perspectival distortion was occasionally used in tsarist posters issued during World War I. Typically, a larger-than-life Russian peasant was shown towering over the countryside and his enemies (Bonnell, 1997:33)
Stalinist Iconography
The once standard worker-icon came under increasingly severe criticism in the early 1930s. (Bonnell, 1997:34)
In a 1930 book on posters, Nikolai Maslennikov described the blacksmith image as ‘petty bourgeois [meshchanskii] in ideology. (Bonnell, 1997:34)
When a rare poster appeared in 1932 depicting two muscular men standing at an anvil with hammer in hand, a Moscow critic commented that “the image does not take into account the essence of socialist labor and is based entirely on a bourgeois conception of workers’ labor. The artist was entirely wrong in drawing from the archive of poster clichés these stereotypical blacksmiths with heavy sledgehammers.” (Bonnell, 1997:34)
The abandonment of the conventional worker-icon coincided with a reevaluation of the hero in Soviet society. (Bonnell, 1997:34)
As the proletarian worker –once the essence of Bolshevik mythology – receded in importance in visual propaganda, the image of Stalin came to occupy a central and sacred place in Soviet iconography (Bonnell, 1997:45)
Icons and colour symbolism
Of course, red had also been associated with revolution since 1792, when the Jacobins raised a red flag as a symbol of rebellion (Bonnell, 1997:13)
Male and Female Icons
By the end of the Civil War [1917-1923], Soviet artists had created new images, far more accessible to ordinary people (Bonnell, 1997:83)
The new images of the female worker and peasant also drew on mythology – the mythology of popular culture. Mythical elements from folklore and the popular idiom were fused with contemporary political ideology to create a special visual language for apprehending the unprecedented experiences of revolution and civil war (Bonnell, 1997:83)
The new worker and peasant icons – both male and female – functioned as symbols in visual propaganda (Bonnell, 1997:83)
Unlike images drawn from the neoclassical repertoire, they did not require access to special knowledge from classical antiquity and mythology (Bonnell, 1997:83)
These representations of workers and peasants were not intended to be prescriptive or serve as models for conduct. They had a different function. Their purpose was to give visual meaning to a worldview which foregrounded the concept of class and class conflict and defined gender in terms of class (Bonnell, 1997:83-84)
Secular Icons
Functioning as secular icons, political posters of the postwar era conjured up the ‘divine order’ – the socialist paradise – in which light, color, gesture, clothes, people, landscapes, and animals were perfectly harmonious (Bonnell, 1997:258)
The colors used in posters after 1945 accentuated the serene and blissful mood (Bonnell, 1997:258)
Soviet Icons
A quintessential Soviet ‘icon’ of the postwar period, the Lavrov poster attempted to conjure up a perfect ‘classless’ world of serenity, beauty and harmony. (Bonnell, 1997:244)
The image of the Stalinist order reproduced in this and other posters of the period differs in important respects from Soviet visual propaganda of earlier years. (Bonnell, 1997:258)
Lavrov, A (1950) Sbylis’ mecchty narodnye! (The People’s Dreams Have Come True!). Museum of Russian Posters: History of Poster Art (2010):
His clothing (a suit and tie), demeanor, and appearance – especially his beard – provide clues to his identity: he belongs to the ranks of the intelligentsia and has perhaps had a career as a scientist or an academic (Bonnell, 1997:244)
Heroic status in the 1930s was primarily extended to workers, peasants, and others who performed exceptional feats – most of them involving physical exertion (Bonnell, 1997:244)
The Gaze
Posters make use of the direct gaze. (Bonnell, 1997:42)
During the 1920s, political artists seldom made use of this device. (Bonnell, 1997:42)
In the 1930s, by contrast, political artists depicted workers looking directly at the viewer. (Bonnell, 1997:42)
Viktor Gorvorkov’s 1933 poster ‘Vasha lampa, tovarishch inzhener’ (Your lamp, Comrade Engineer) shows a youthful larger-than-life figure holding out a lamp in his right hand. He confronts the viewer with a penetrating direct gaze. (Bonnell, 1997:42)
The frequent use of this device altered the conventional relationship between the viewer and the image. Whereas formerly, the viewer was an observer looking in at the world of the image, now the relationship was revsersed. The image confronted the viewer. (Bonnell, 1997:42)
It might not be far-fetched to compare this phenomenon with the presence of the all-seeing eye (velikii glaz) in Orthodox iconography. (Bonnell, 1997:42)
In religious icons, key images are presented with full or three-quarter face views. Soviet artists almost invariably presented a frontal view of the blacksmith, and his gaze was seldom turned directly to the spectator (by contrast, some key posters of Red Army soldiers utilized the direct gaze) (Bonnell, 1997:33)
clip_image002[11] Govorkov, Viktor (1933) Vasha lampa, tovarishch inzhener (Your Lamp, Comrade Engineer). Museum of Russian Posters: History of Poster Art (2010):

  • Bonnell, Victoria E (1997) The Iconography of Power: Soviet Political Posters under Lenin and Stalin, London: University of California Press
  • Mitchell, W J T (1986) Iconology: Image, Text, Ideology, London: The University of Chicago Press