Cover Osteuropa 10/2007

In Osteuropa 10/2007

Portrait of the President
Vladimir Putin between Art, Cult, and Commerce

Alexandra Engelfried

Deutsche Fassung


Paintings with Putin’s image are widespread in Russia. Putin portraits fetch high prices on the art market and have entered popular culture. Artists successfully use depictions of the president as part of their public relations strategies. At the same time, the demand for and use of such portraits express an understanding of rule and adoration of rulers that goes back to the tsarist and Soviet traditions. This also goes for the language of forms and images used. The Putin cult has become a fixture of culture and politics in Russia.

(Osteuropa 10/2007, pp. 51–66)