Grigori Shegel

Grigori Shegel was a Soviet-era painter. His first painting here is a truly shameless example of the adulation of Stalin that marked the 1930s and 1940s. As propaganda, it's brilliant: the towering figure of Lenin (now safely dead) looking benignly at the scene, giving his tacit approval to Stalin as his successor, and every face in the painting turning to receive the revolutionary wisdom of Stalin. A fawning tribute to a monster.

Leader, Teacher, Friend (1937)

In Samarkand