The composition of Glazunov’s painting “The Mystery of the xx Century”

The composition of Glazunov’s painting “The Mystery of the xx Century”

The “Mystery of the XX Century” picture can be compared in its action with the explosion of an atomic bomb. its first version was written in 1977, when Soviet art choked from loyal love to Lenin, Khrushchev, the CPSU and was strictly limited to the framework of the lie of socialist realism. The artist performed a titanic work, showing in his picture through concrete images of people the apocalyptic existence of the 20th century. The 

How should one have civil courage and fearlessness, in order to express this uncompromising truth in those days of totalitarian terror! Moreover, the artist refused the long-awaited exhibition, but did not withdraw from the exposition at the request of leading officials “The Mystery of the 20th Century,” despite threats from

the Party Central Committee, the Ministry of Culture and the official Union of Artists, ready to expel him from the Soviet Union, as expelled AI Solzhenitsyn, whom he dared to show in the picture in prison clothes. The artist was firm to the end. He never opened his exhibition. Only one vote outweighed the vote in the Central Committee of the party for the abolition of the expulsion of Glazunov abroad. The argument was: “Why do we have to breed dissidents again and again? Let them go to Siberia, to BAM and not return from there as long as possible.” Photos from this picture dispersed along the immense then Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. Many Western magazines printed her reproductions with a subtitle: “A picture that the Russians will never see.” And only after a long time, during the days of perestroika, thousands of spectators saw it at an exhibition of the artist in the Moscow Youth House.

Ilya Sergeyevich completed his work on a new version of the world-famous “Mystery.” This was dictated by the need to take an artistic and philosophical view of the deep essence of the events of the last quarter of the last century (“perestroika”, the collapse of the USSR, privatization and the accession of democracy in Russia ), which naturally required an increase in the size of the picture. And, finally, in the new version, the author painted his portrait right already in accordance with his age (in 2000, Glazunov was 70 years old).


The composition of Glazunov’s painting “The Mystery of the xx Century”