Firstly: Ilya Repin.
Because he was a genius. One of the great proponents of 19th century realism - breaking away from ornamental art and instead depicting social tensions and the general misery under the Czarist regime. He later became a kind of cult figure in Russia, and was one of the artists that Socialist Realism was modeled after. There's a sort of far-fetched irony about that.
Anyway, this is him:
This is one of my favorite works by him, it shows Ivan the Terrible (czar) and his son on November 16th.
Now, my second crush is so cliche that it's ridiculous. But you can't NOT notice it - (even though he was an evil dictator and role model for several other evil dictators throughout Eastern Europe, waged war on civil society and independent thought, masterminded purges, killed people that aspired to the same things as our beloved Mr. Repin) Stalin was a fiiine looking fellow back in the day.
And then a poem. Because you posted one, so I'll post one.
I am not in gentle nature
Among the blooming bowers.
Under the smokey sky in the factory
I forged iron flowers.