The father of our country, Emanuel Gottlieb Leutze’s G. Washington, struck an heroic pose while crossing the Delaware, David’s Napoleon on horseback had heroic moments, and Delacroix’s Liberty Leading the People is the quintessential heroic image. So, who influenced whom?
These were Romantic depictions of the icons of American and French history—two real people and one symbolic personage—that defined a certain kind of heroic representation. But were they the sources—the father and mother—of the cliched socialist realism so popular during the Soviet era? Perhaps. There does seem to be a family resemblance.
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