In 1976, Glazunov painted one of his first and best known historical works, “The Mystery of the 20th Century.” In it, an atomic bomb explodes over depictions of Nikolai II, Albert Einstein, John F. Kennedy, Vladimir Lenin, Adolph Hitler and Charlie Chaplin, among dozens of other leaders and cultural figures. Hovering above is an image of Christ, and standing in prison clothes is the writer Alexander Solzhenitsyn. For the ideological crime of depicting Solzhenitsyn, the Central Committee of the Communist Party considered exiling him from the Soviet Union. Instead, he was sent to Siberia to paint portraits of the workers of the Baikal-Amur Railroad.
On his return to Moscow, Glazunov continued to paint monumental canvases. By then, society and the political system were falling in sync with his views. In 1986, a large solo exhibition of his works was held at the Manege Exhibition Hall, and in 2004 a museum of his art and his personal collection of icons opened opposite the Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts.