Poverty is a Killer Too

Drozdov, Andrei. Bread during the war. 2005. Painting. http://pinterest.comWeb. 7 Sep 2012. <http://pinterest.com/pin/202380576975227191/ >.

Andrei Drozdov’s Bread during the war depicts the existence of poverty during World War II.

This artwork was painted in 2005 by a Russian citizen named Andrei Drozdov. This was painted to depict the state of a Russian household during World War II. Specifically this was painted for the anniversary of the end of the Blockade of Leningrad. The Blockade killed more than 700,000 lives due to citizens of Russia living in poverty, and dying from starvation. This picture shows a three-person family. The husband is most likely in the Russian army fighting at that time, when his family survives on bread. Most Russian families during that time did have to live in poverty. The little boy who is the center figure is depressed, and lost hope. The mother is stern, but fair because she is now the leader of the family and has to split the scarce food between her children. There is snow in the distance on the rooftops, which shows us that the family has to spend a cold winter with minimal food. The smallest child is frightened, even in the comfort of her own home. From that we can tell the war is being fought right outside their windows, so they fear for their lives daily. The colors are dim and the thick brushstrokes makes this scene depressing.

This artwork shows that violence isn’t the only ruthless thing from war. The accurate display of poverty is demanding people to be educated on what else happens when you’re affected by war. The emotions in this painting express the hardships of day-to-day life. During World War II things as little as finding enough food for your family was an issue in most of Europe. Americans during that time period didn’t recognize the  the blessing of not fighting the war on their own turf. The food in America was lightly rationed during that time, but in Russia there was nowhere near enough food to go around. The basic meaning shows that it was normal for Russians to live in poverty and fear. The bread symbolizes resurrection, and is hinting to us a new begging will come. The foreground of the painting is dark, while the background grows lighter. That tells us they wont always being living in poverty and the war will come to an end. Overall this painting depicts the hardships of war and because it was painted recently (2005) the painter wants us to still remember the innocent people who had to suffer from not just terror, but also poverty.

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 Unported License.

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2 comments

  1. From first looking at the photo how do you know that it is the scene of a russian household during World War II? Furthermore, how do you know it was painted for the anniversary of the end of the Blockade of Leningrad? The description should only be describing what you see in the picture. It is good that you did some research about the painting but include this information in your last paragraph when analyzing the meaning of the photo. The fact about the blockade killing more than 700,000 lives and the resulting poverty is good because it explains the saddness of the photo, but again, save this sentence for the last paragraph. Good job pointing out the central figure in the photo. Also, good job pointing out the colors used. I would not have thought to do that. Overall, the first paragraph does a good job of stating what is in the picture, but you can leave out the things that you assumed because it demonstrates too much analysis. In the second paragraph, I like how you talked about how the bread symbolizes resurrection. It demonstrates good analysis and thought. Good job pointing out that this photo demonstrates that violence isn’t the only ruthless thing in war. I like the photo you used because it is subtle until you know the story behind it. Your analysis demonstrates good research with the facts you used. Just be careful in the description segment like I talked about before that you don’t make too many assumptions since this part is supposed to be straight forward.

  2. Given only the picture it is difficult to tell what this is depicting. You did a very good job of putting the painting into the context of a Russian family during World War II. However, I am not sure where you got the information that she was a single mother with a husband in the war or the war being fought right outside. It could very well be true because many families did live under these circumstances but the image alone does not convey that. I think you did a good job finding symbolism within the colors and objects.

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