Allegory of the Cave

Propaganda Art
With the start of World War I, artists began an era of art known as propaganda art. The purpose of this art was to systematically promote a particular doctrine or idea to win people over to there beliefs. Artists such as George Grosz protested his views of the war through the sketch Fit For Active Service, which mocks the desperate measures the Nazi's took to recruit soldiers into battle. But on the other side of propaganda art, artists like A.I. Stakhov where commissioned by the Russian congress to create "a true, historically concrete portrayal of reality in it's revolutionary development" (Fiero 57), which is evident in his colored lithograph, Emancipated Women Build Socialism. Although both paintings where done in the same era, the subject, meaning, and style differ drastically from each other. Grosz's purpose was to mock and discredit the government, while Strakhov's intent was to unite the Russian population in support of the communist movement.
George Grosz spent a short time in battle for the German military, but only after his discharge did he begin to protest their "corrupt and mindless bureaucracy" (Fiero 55). Grosz was disgusted by the common Nazi practice of drafting old and sometimes sick men into the front lines of battle. He translated his disapproval in his pen and brush drawing Fit For Active Service. The sketch composes un-proportional gestural caricatures of Nazi army doctors "pronouncing a skeletal cadaver "O.K." to serve in combat" (Fiero 55). Grosz's purpose was to make pointed references of the desperate need for German soldiers and their derogatory means of doing so. During this same time another form of propaganda was being developed in Russia.
During the Russian Revolution, communists enforced totalitarian control over all aspects of cultural expression. Their purpose in doing so was to c…


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