Igor Obrosov was one of the leaders of the "severe style", the movement of artists who opposed the Stalin-era tendency to ‘sugar-coat’ the realities of Soviet life. The repression of the 1930s lies at the heart of much of the artist’s work and it affected his own family. When he was just seven he witnessed the arrest of his father, an eminent surgeon and the director of Moscow’s Sklifosovsky Institute, who was executed by firing squad in 1937.
In this painting, the artist looks beyond his own emotional experiences, seeking to express the fate of his generation. Obrosov said that the era of terror was a tragedy for our nation. "As an artist, I could not fail to reflect this. I knew that if I did not describe all those horrible events, hardly anyone else would dare to. Stalin destroyed the best of us," said Obrosov.