Oil on canvas
283 x 188
State Russian Museum
This picture is an emotional response to the victory of the Red Army at the Battle of Stalingrad in winter 1943. For the first time, the nation had a premonition of the inevitable defeat of Nazi Germany. Alexander Deineka conveys this feeling in the sharp and poignant subject of Shot Down Ace. He doggedly sought the necessary foreshortening, following numerous pencil sketches recording his frontline impressions of aerial dogfights and memories of the deaths of Soviet and German pilots. The picture does not offer any calm aesthetic delight; the main themes are an act of vengeance, the defeat of evil and faith in ultimate victory.
Deineka, Alexander Alexandrovich (1899, Kursk - 1969, Moscow)
Painter, graphic artist, sculptor, poster designer. Helped to decorate streets on Communist holidays. Studied at the Kharkiv School of Art (1914-1918) and the Free/Higher Art and Technical Studios (1920-1925). Contributed to exhibitions (from 1924). Member of the Union of Artists (from 1932). Taught at the Higher Art and Technical Institute (1928–1930), Moscow Institute of Polygraphy (1930–1934), Vasily Surikov Institute of Art (1936, 1946, 1957–1964), Moscow Institute of Applied and Decorative Art (1945–1952) and Moscow Institute of Architecture (1953–1957). Business trips to Italy, France and the USA (1935). Full member of the Academy of Arts of the USSR (1947). Vice President of Academy of Arts of the USSR (1962, 1966). People's Artist of the USSR (1963). Corresponding member of the Academy of Arts of the GDR (1964). Hero of Socialist Labour (1969). Awarded the Lenin Prize (1964).