Viktor Efimovich Popkov (1932 - 1974) was a famous Russian painter, graphic artist, portraitist, landscape and genre painter who won the Grand Prix at the Paris Biennale in 1967, becoming one of the most celebrated Soviet artists of his time. He started his career during Nikita Khrushev's Cold War "Thaw" and was commissioned in the 1950s and 1960s to travel extensively around the country, visiting ambitious Soviet construction sites. His life was abruptly ended by a tragic accident in 1974 when he was mistakenly shot dead by the driver of an armoured cash transport car. In 1975 he was posthumously awarded The State Prize of the USSR.