Victory of the Proletariat
While these paintings differ in subject and scope, they both embody a fundamental aspect of Socialist Realism: idealize the dictatorship of the proletariat. The ability of the proletariat to forcibly overthrow or remove leaders hostile to communism and the population is key to this idea.
Aleksandr Laktionov’s painting A Letter From the Front captures the notion of Soviet victory during WWII in the home rather than on the battlefield. A decorated soldier of the Red Army delivers a letter from a comrade on the front lines. Presumably the letter contains news of victories and valor over Nazi forces based on the expressions of the letter’s recipient and also implied by the warm sunlight bathing the image. The soldier’s bandaged wounds and medals, the young woman’s red social workers armband, and the young boy’s red kerchief illustrate the proper war time roles for each character and imply the coordinated effort of the proletariat for victory.
Gabriil Gorelov’s Bolotnikov’s Revolt illustrates an event from Russian history. As explained by Soviet historians, Bolotnikov was a serf that led a peasant army in 1606-7 against feudal, serf-owning aristocracy. For Soviet leaders, the value of imagery depicting a heroic proletariat fighting oppressive land owners is self-evident.