Red Army Detachment Passing the Lenin Mausoleum

Artist: Georgi Anatoliévitch Zelma (Russian, Tashkent 1906–1984 Moscow)

Date: 1933

Medium: Gelatin silver print

Dimensions: 15.4 x 21.3 cm (6 1/16 x 8 3/8 in.)

Classification: Photographs

Credit Line: Purchase, The Horace W. Goldsmith Foundation Gift, through Joyce and Robert Menschel, 1996

Accession Number: 1996.241


Beginning in 1928, Zelma worked with the new handheld 35mm Leica camera and documented with a natural, lyrical understanding of the medium the stunning impact of the new Soviet state on traditional society. The photographs were widely published in Pravda Vostoka and then later in Izvestiia. This dynamic photograph of a military parade on the fifteenth anniversary of the Bolshevik Revolution is an excellent example of the best of Soviet journalism in the 1930s. Zelma captures the cruel beauty and inherent violence of military order; the soldiers are anonymous-faceless components of a political machine.