Four Russian Propaganda Posters from the 1920’s

Artists: , , ,
Actual Size: 27.50 x 19
Medium: Silkscreen


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The Bolshevik Era (1917-1921) was a life and death struggle for the Bolsheviks and their ideology. The propaganda poster was everywhere, as the Bolsheviks struggled to win the Civil War against the Whites and fought the Poles over control of the Ukraine and parts of modern day Belarus. The early Soviet poster – an incredible 3600 designs – was remarkable for its revolutionary fervor and biting wit. Powerful visual symbols were invented, like the red star and hammer and sickle.

These four posters are as follows:

1.” May 1st All Russian Subbotnik ” is a Russian poster promoting the first all Russian Subbotnik held on May 1st, 1920 in which Vladimir Lenin was in attendance. “Subbotnik” were weekend days of unpaid, volunteer community service work following the October Revolution which eventually became obligatory. By Russian artist Dmitry Moor

2. ” Anniversary of Vsevobuch–Develop and Learn to Defend Freedom”    celebrates the second anniversary of the implementation of universal military training and says ‘2nd Anniversary of Vsevobuch, Develop and Learn How To Defend Freedom. Artist unknown

3.” Devil Doll ”    The Devil Doll’ (January 1920) shows a soldier pointing his bayonet at a looming monster in the first panel. However, in the second it turns out to be the weak and insignificant enemies of the state behind a pathetic mask and cloak.  Russian artist Dmitri Moor

4. ” Forward to defend the Ural”    ’By Russian artist A. Petroff ( pseudonym for Alexander Aspit ) from the ´´Plakate der Russichen Revolution 1917 – 1929´´

Dmitry Moor was a Russian graphic artist, poster designer and cartoonist, also known as D. Moor (“Д. Моор”). During the 1900s and 1910s he was a comic pioneer, making satirical comics ridiculing the Czarist regime and censorship. Under the Soviet regime he became one of the most celebrated propaganda artists. Both during the First and the Second World War he ridiculed the German army. In his work Moor often made use of sequential illustrated narratives or comics. He was the house cartoonist of magazines like Budilnik and later Bezbozhnik.

Alexander Petrovich Apsit was born in Riga on 25th March, 1880. He moved to Saint Petersburg in 1894 and attended art school and became a student of Lew Dmitriew-Kawkaski. Aspit worked for various Russian magazines and on the outbreak of the First World War was employed by the government to design war posters. After the Bolshevik Revolution Apsit was commissioned by the State Publishing House to design revolutionary posters.