The Dream was Petrov-Vodkin’s first famous work. Upon its exhibition, it immediately sparked a debate among other prominent Russian artists, including Alexandre Benois and Ilya Repin. Benois, and other proponents of the painting, saw it as a new expression of neo-classical art. The detractors, on the other hand, headed by Ilya Repin, saw Petrov-Vodkin as a decadent artist, unable to develop his work. It was in part this heated discussion by two of Russia’s most famous painters, over one of Petrov-Vodkin’s works, that he was catapulted to fame so quickly when he debuted his Bathing of a Red Horse two years later.