Session of the Presidium of the Academy of Sciences of the USSR
- oil on canvas. 399 x 585.5
Received in 1953 via the Committee for Art, Council of Ministers of the USSR
The mural was created by a group of artists led by Vasily Efanov. Efanov enlisted the group, which painted around two hundred studies in all for the canvas. Many of the composition’s individual portrait studies of academicians became significant works in their own right. They were exhibited alongside the larger painting at the All-Union Art Exhibition in Moscow in 1952. The canvas depicts a session of the Presidium of the USSR Academy of Sciences discussing construction plans for the Main Turkmen Canal. The photographic authenticity with which the work documents the event doesn’t detract from its virtues as a formal group portrait painted in the best traditions of the realistic school. The artists’ collective was awarded a 3rd-degree Stalin Prize for the main canvas and individual portraits.