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  • Writer's pictureMichael Laxer

Lenin at the Soviet Palace of the Congresses, 1961

The Lenin Curtain in the Kremlin Palace of the Congresses, Moscow, USSR 1961

The stunning Lenin Curtain that hung at the USSR's Palace of the Congresses until the counter-revolution was designed in 1961.

From a Soviet account, 1977:

The huge metal curtain, the compositional centre of the whole interior, and the architecture of the hall blend with each other, the embodiment of one single feeling, one single thought.

The Palace of Congresses is the nerve centre of the huge country; this is where what has been done is discussed and summed up, where major projects are outlined, where delegates meet. This splendid palace is the headquarters of that gigantic, unparalleled construction site whose name is Communism. In the conference hall, above the tribune from which resound the voices of those struggling for peace and a better future for humanity, Lenin’s portrait on the curtain is seen as the symbol of our age. The leader’s profile is modelled against the rising sun, on a decorative ruby-coloured background. The draughtsmanship of the composition is unsurpassed. The image of Lenin created by Mylnikov [Soviet People's Artist Andrei Mylnikov 1919-2012] is unusually simple, but at the same time it is grand and elevated; it will be remembered as the embodiment of the revolutionary spirit, the willpower and the strength of the nation.

From the Great Soviet Encyclopedia 1979:

Mylnikov, Andrei Andreevich

Born Feb. 22, 1919, in Pokrovsk, present-day Engel’s, Saratov Oblast. Soviet painter, People’s Artist of the RSFSR (1968), member of the Academy of Arts of the USSR (1966).

From 1938 to 1946, Mylnikov studied at the Institute of Painting, Sculpture, and Architecture in Leningrad under I. E. Grabar’ and V. M. Oreshnikov. In 1947 he began teaching at the institute and in 1967 he became a professor there. Mylnikov’s works (genre paintings, landscapes, portraits, mosaic panels, and monumental and decorative murals) are distinguished by emotional elevation of style, clarity of composition, and festive brilliance of color.

Mylnikov’s major works are On Peaceful Fields (1949, Russian Museum, Leningrad; State Prize of the USSR, 1951), Awakening (1957, Russian Museum, Leningrad), Morning (1972, the Board of Directors of Artistic Depositories and Planning of Monuments of the Ministry of Culture of the RSFSR), and Lenin (1961)—a rigid curtain for the Kremlin Palace of Congresses. Other important works by Mylnikov are mosaics for the Leningrad Young People’s Theater (1962). Mylnikov has been awarded the Order of the Badge of Honor and several medals.


This historic image is available on several products at our Etsy store:



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