Who is Vladimir Lebedev?

Vladimir Vasilyevich Lebedev — (Russian: Влади́мир Васи́льевич Ле́бедев) (14 (26) May 1891, in Saint Petersburg – 21 November 1967) was a Soviet painter and graphic artist. He became famous for his exceptional illustrations of the poems of the prominent poet and translator Samuil Marshak, such as Circus, Ice Cream, Tale About a Foolish Mouse, Moustached and Striped, Book of Many Colours, Twelve Months and Luggage.

As a youth boy, Lebedev started to paint postcards that were sold in a shop in Saint Petersburg. At the age of nineteen, he held his first exhibit at the Academy of Fine Arts. In 1913, he began feat as a cartoonist for several satirical journals, including the famed “Satirikon” (Сатирикон). At this period he was already a prolific illustrator for the children’s magazines “Jackdaw” (Галчонок), “Blue Journal” (Синий Журнал), “Everyone’s Journal” (Журнал для всех), and “Argus” (Аргус). He illustrated the children’s book “The Lion and the Bull” in 1917. From 1920-1922, Lebedev worked for The Russian Telegraph Agency (ROSTA) and The Department of Agitation” (Agitprop) designing propaganda posters. By the 1920s, Lebedev had friendly relations considering many distinguished persons of his time, such as Tatlin, Ivan Puni, Kazimir Malevich, Vladimir Mayakovsky and the school critic Nikolay Punin. In 1915 he married the sculptor Sarra Lebedeva.

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In the 1920s, Lebedev had earned the title of “King of the Children’s Book.” A entrepreneur in the field of children’s illustration, he would higher say upon the have an effect on of his works “I yet consider to have flatteringly influenced the commencement of a extra Soviet stamp album for children, and, what is more important, this book acquired a environment of its own” Nikolai Punin, who wrote the first monograph upon Lebedev, cited Lebedev as one of the most important illustrators of the era:
“After his brilliant experiments with “Circus” and “Ice Cream” and a number of new children’s books executed by him, bookstores burst into color behind numerous imitations of his examples, and stamp album illustrations in the receding cultural tradition—all the ‘World of Art’ illustrations—paled in comparison, and, in terms of form, began to seem impotent, overly concerned gone aesthetics, and unexpressive.”

In 1930s-1940s he created numerous portraits of his friends, professional models and sportsmen. He always was loving of playing sports himself. From the decline of the 1930s he started to use stronger colours and thicker layers of paint, creating effects reminiscent of the works of Renoir.

As was the suit with many artists and writers working under Stalinism, Lebedev ran afoul of recognized censorship. The book Inside the Rainbow – Russian Children’s Literature 1920-35: Beautiful Books, Terrible Times offered by Dutch publishers Pegasus details threats made by Soviet authorities adjoining Lebedev. The tape was the subject of reviews in The Guardian and The Financial Times, among other publications.

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In 2012, his play in was included in an exhibit at the Museum of Modern Art.

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