Boris Prorokov

Prorokov, Boris Ivanovich


Born Apr. 26 (May 9), 1911, in Ivanovo-Voznesensk, present-day Ivanovo; died Sept. 19, 1972, in Moscow. Soviet graphic artist. People’s Artist of the USSR (1971); corresponding member of the Academy of Arts of the USSR (1954). Became a member of the CPSU in 1945.

From 1929 to 1931, Prorokov studied under D. S. Moor and P. Ia. Pavlinov at the Moscow Vkhutein (Higher Art and Technical Institute). He worked for the newspaper Komsomol’skaia pravda (1931–38) and for the magazines Smena (1929–37) and Krokodil (from 1938). During the Great Patriotic War (1941–45), Prorokov participated in the heroic defense of Khanko Peninsula and was a member of the press corps at the front.

Between the late 1940’s and 1970, Prorokov produced his most important works—thematic series of drawings that resemble posters in format. These works are devoted to the people’s struggle for peace and against imperialist aggression and reaction and social and racial inequality. The drawings are publicistic in character and filled with emotion. They integrate techniques of drawing, poster art, and caricature. Movement and gestures are dynamically rendered, and there are vivid tonal contrasts.

Prorokov’s works include the series There She Is, America! (sepia and india ink, 1948–49, Tret’iakov Gallery; State Prize of the USSR, 1950), For Peace (india ink, 1950, Tret’iakov Gallery), and Mayakovsky on America (india ink, gouache, water-color, chalk, pastel, and bronze, 1951–54, Tret’iakov Gallery). The last series and the drawings Truman’s Tanks Down to the Sea Bottom and The American Gendarmes in Japan from the series For Peace earned Prorokov the State Prize of the USSR in 1952. Later series include This Must Not Happen Again (india ink, tempera, watercolor, and pencil; 1958–59; Russian Museum, Leningrad; Lenin Prize, 1961) and The Struggle (oil, pastel, watercolor, and gouache; 1969–70; Voronezh Oblast Museum of Fine Arts).

Prorokov was awarded two orders and various medals.


Kisliakova, I. V. Boris Prorokov. Moscow, 1967.