Matvey Manizer's Portrayals of Lenin

Socialist Realism follows the great tradition of 19th-century Russian realism in that it purports to be a faithful and objective mirror of life.
Matvey Manizer working on Lenin Statue
Matvey Manizer 1956 © Bock-Schroeder Foundation

Matvey Manizer (1891 – 1966) created classic works of socialist realism.

Matvey Manizer working on Lenin Statue
Matvey Manizer 1956 © Bock-Schroeder Foundation

As a student Manizer attended the State Artistic and Industrial Academy there, and the art school of the Peredvizhniki from 1911 through 1916. From 1926 he was a member of the Association of Artists of Revolutionary Russia. In 1941 he moved to Moscow.

Matvey Manizer working on Lenin Statue
Matvey Manizer 1956 © Bock-Schroeder Foundation

Working in an academic and realistic style, Manizer produced a great number of monuments situated throughout the Soviet Union, including some twelve portrayals of Lenin.

Matvey Manizer working on Lenin Statue
Matvey Manizer 1956 © Bock-Schroeder Foundation

Manizer was awarded the People's Artist of the USSR (1958), Member of USSR Academy of Arts (1947), vice president of USSR Academy of Arts (1947-1966), chairman of the Saint Petersburg Union of Artists from 1937 to 1941, and winner of the Stalin Prize three times.

Matvey Manizer working on Lenin Statue
Matvey Manizer 1956 © Bock-Schroeder Foundation

Manizer's wife Elena Alexandrovna Yanson-Manizer (1890-1971) was a sculptor in her own right, with work at the Dynamo station of the Moscow Metro. Their son Hugh Matveyevich Manizer (born 1927) is a noted painter. Among Manizer's students was the Stalin Prize-winning Fuad Abdurakhmanov.

Matvey Manizer working on Lenin Statue
Matvey Manizer 1956 © Bock-Schroeder Foundation

His artistic career is marked by the projects of monuments, many of which were carried out in different cities of the country.

Matvey Manizer working on Lenin Statue
Matvey Manizer 1956 © Bock-Schroeder Foundation

Manizer has created more than a dozen monuments to Lenin, which became the official standard of the image of the leader of the revolution.