|Maker(s):||Vassiliev, Oleg Vladimirovich|
|Culture:||Russian (1931-2013), active in America|
|Title:||The House with the Mezzanine, No. 20|
|Materials:||Lithograph on cream paper|
|Measurements:||Sheet: 29 3/4 x 21 in.; 75.6 x 53.3 cm|
|Accession Number: ||AC 2010.158|
|Credit Line:||Gift of Joan Afferica, L. Clark Seelye Professor Emerita of History, Smith College||
Created by sculptor Evgenyi Vuchetich, the gigantic monument The Motherland Calls was erected in 1967 at the site of the 1942-1943 Battle of Stalingrad. At the time of its installation, it was the tallest freestanding sculpture in the world, at 269 feet. Vassiliev uses its silhouette to convey the monument's ambiguity: It appears to call to the battle--its original intention, as suggested by the title--to deplore the war by pointing to the blood-drenched battlefield, and to despair at the sight of its victims.
The idea of women epitomizing Russia goes back to the Slavic myth of "Damp Mother Earth." The use of "Mother Russia" in official imagery culminated during and after the Second World War in such monuments as The Motherland Calls.