Vile and Virulent is the Viper's Venom
The letter Я from The Anti-Religious Alphabet
14 7/8 x 10 5/8 in. (37.8 x 27 cm)
Mikhail Mikhailovich Cheremnykh
(Tomsk, Russia, 1890 - 1962, Moscow, USSR)
Full Title:The letter Я from The Anti-Religious Alphabet
Medium and Support:
Marion Stratton Gould Fund
The Anti-Religious Alphabet
From a portfolio of 27 prints.
Pope Pius XI, the leader of the Catholic Church at the time Cheremnykh designed The Anti-Religious Alphabet, was openly critical of the atheistic doctrine of the Soviet Union. He condemned communism as the most persistent enemy of Christianity, calling it a "satanic scourge" from which the common man must be saved. The pope was seen as a grave threat to Soviet society; this image presents Pius XI's words as a writhing, dangerous snake waiting to strike.