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The Partisan's Mother
(5 voti)
Écrit par Leonardo Torricini   


This time I worked on a completely different period but I still got the inspiration from a famous painting, it is "the partisan's mother" of Sergej Vasil'evic Gerasimov.
This picture is been painted in 1943, during the second world war, after the Stalingrad battle that stopped the nazist invasion. It gives a strong emotional impact and it's wanderfully painted, today it's exposed in the Tret'jakov Gallery in Moscow and appair also on some post stamps.

Sergei Gerasimov has been one of the best russian painters, he contribute to the development of the "socialist realism" art, his painting is inspirated to the impressionism and innovating for that time, somehow he anticipate many following artistic tendencies and some of the actual ones.

To be not mistaken with his namesake Alexander Gerasimov, that was counterpointed to his artistic expressivity and not only, Alexander replaced Sergei as director of the Russian Artists Union under Stalin.
During the second world war he was trasferred from Moscow to Samarcanda with the rest of the Surikov art institute wich he belonged to, there he producted some of his best creations, and also "the partisan's mother".
After Stalin's death he returned to lead the Russian Artists Union till his death in 1964.
Even contributing to the soviet propaganda he is always remained a free thinker, it's shown even in this painting that, despite used by the comunist propaganda, to a deep analisis rather than support something, parform the fierce dignity of a farmer mother, it condemmn the atrocity of the armed oppression, particulary of the nazism, the prisoner boy that represent the partisan even being central is not on the foreground, while on the background there are people under armed treath that stand still (here in the diorama I took a little freedom of interpretation giving to the couple a step forward pose, and the man is about to lift an arm, while the mounted guard, much less relaxed than the painted one, is ordering the people to stop).

Anyway, perhaps for the propaganda or for the people's attitude, the popular rebellion to the nazists in Russia had massive proportions, differently from other occupied countries where those groups were more limited in number and organization. The russian regular partisan units arrived at 360.000 men, that complessive eliminated about half million of invaders, included some fifty generals.
As well as the russian women that took a much bigger part than somewhere else within the partisan organizations, Hitler's high commissar, Willhelm Kube, was killed by a waitrees that realy was a partisan woman.
Hitler's reprisal was mercyless but didn't got it's pourposes, instead as we have seen it made grow the rebellion till to reach all the people support.
In some cases there have been more than one change of front, after having experimented Stalin's repressions, in some areas people hoped in a better change under the nazists, but soon they realised to be fall from the saucepan in the fire, as the nazist considered them "lesser men". They have deported and killed men, women and even children (633.000 kids less than 16 y.o. were sended to hard labour).
Between 1941 and 1943 more than five millions russians were deported, less than two on five survived, nearly two thirds didn't returned. Are calculated eight millions of russians died not in combat.
Anyway as in other countries a small part took the side of the nazists, even a part of the deported in the lagers choosen to enrole as althernative to the inhuman conditions in the lagers, but they formed corps that had to be deployed on differnt fronts from the russian due to the frequent disertions.

And here I need to clarity something, as I talked about things that someone still discuss nowdays, I don't agree with any "ideology", they never resolve any problem without to cause other ones, and they all alwasys pemitted to their leaders to cheat impunished not pacticing what they preach, secretly or shamelessly but always without giving a f... of their ideals. Some "good" ideals are supposed to prevent injustice and atrocities they say, than instead and unavoidably...
If I sound more critical about something doesn't mean that I support the opposite or any other at all, this must be especialy intended when I clearly speack about "nazists" or "comumists" and NOT about germans or russians.
About the partisans awareness of the cosequent retaliation it would come to me to say: "I won't touch this argument neighter with a tree meters long stick!" , but again if we don't consider this matter just "one way" we can see both some evident cases of careless and cinical calculation, as well as extreme care and unstoppable reaction about a situation that's no more tollerable, despite the full consciousness of the unavoidable consequences; rarely also unawareness of consequences or criminal pourposes, and in many cases a contraddictory mix of all this and other reasons.
We need to remember the common menthality of that period that considered perfectly sensed to send moltitudes of young men to kill and die for absurd or selfish interests, and that the involvement of the innocent civilians was so common as tactic to justify even the terrorist bombings of entire towns.
This menthality (or dementiality) that consider a pourpose worth to justify any consequence, unfortunatly survives and prospers still today, and immediately my mind goes to the "collateral effects", the suicidal sacrifices with the innocent or unaware victims, or the hacking from safe distance pressing a button and looking the effects on a console, after all they're not there and they don't risk to get splashed by the blood... especialy when they miss the target; they seem to be somewhere else even when someone tell it them clearly face to face.

Let's speack of modeling, that's better... Make love, not war! The only acceptable war is the one with toysoldiers or wargames.

The main figure, the mother, is been made modifying head, dress and feet, and cutting off the rifle of the Strelets boer woman.
The officier with the riding whip is from the Odemars German Commanders set, it needed less radical changes but still visible on the head, uniform and pose.
With a toysoldier of the Atlantic Red Army I made both the partisan and the farmer on the background, also here I removed the rifle and modified the pose, and change the partisan's head.
For the german guards I had to work with imagination as in the painting they're not clearly visible, both for the pose and the uniform. The soldier that's handcuffing the partisan seem to have big driver glasses on the helmet, the other is back turned and we can't see.
Also in this case I used the same toysoldier for both poses, an Atlantic Panzer Grenadier, modifying position and uniform, I add the big driver glasses on the footed one, and the classic Half-moon plate to both for my personal aesthetic taste (it gives a Gestapo look). I don't know how correct are the uniforms and the weapons, I'm not an expert and as example I took some pictures of german mounted troops and the painting that was the more important thing for me.
The farmer girl is the viking woman of the Orion set, also here a radical modification of pose, head and clothes.
Finaly the horse, I needed a still one and I modified a little the one I already made for the roman scouts diorama, originally was a Hat goth horse.
I didn't made the dead of wich we can see only the feet on the right of the painting, it's too incomplete and I would have to invent it completely, and about to put just the feet... is better live it without.
For the background I made a quck retouch with photoshop to an image of the original painting.