Lenin proclaims Soviet power in Smolny Palace, Petrograd, 1917

Vladimir Serov painted the original version of V. I. Lenin proclaims Soviet power in 1947. The present work is one of the few copies that the artist made himself of his own composition in the years that followed. The original painting depicted Stalin, Dzerzhinsky, and Sverdlov standing on the tribune behind Lenin. The painting itself was considered so important that it was presented to Mao Tse Tung. 

In versions of the painting after 1956, Serov was ordered, due to the collapse of the personality cult after the XXth Congress of the Communist Party in the same year, to not show Stalin or the others, but replace them with workers. The historic meeting of the Second All-Russia Congress of Soviets took place at the Smolny Institute in October of 1917.


OIl on canvas


160 x 123 cm

Vladimir Serov
1910 - 1968

Serov was born in the village of Emmaus in Tver Province. He studied under Savely Schleifer at the Vesiegonsk Studio of Art (1920s), under Isaac Brodsky and Vasily Savinsky at the VKhUTEIN/Institute of Proletarian Fine Art (1927–31) and as a post-graduate student of Isaac Brodsky at the Institute of Proletarian Fine Art (1931–33). He subsequently taught at the Ilya Repin Institute of Painting, Sculpture and Architecture (1932–42). 

He became a full member of the Academy of Arts of the USSR in 1954. He won the Stalin Prize in 1948 and 1951 and a gold medal of the Ministry of Culture of the USSR in 1958.