Okna Rosta

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Okna Rosta


(literally, Windows of ROSTA; more accurately, Okna satiry ROSTA—literally, Windows of Satire of ROSTA), posters produced between 1919 and 1921 by Soviet artists and poets working under the auspices of the Russian Telegraph Agency (ROSTA). The Okna ROSTA arose as an original form of agitational mass art during the Civil War and Military Intervention (1918–20). The incisive, readily understood satirical posters had a short text in verse that could be easily memorized. The Okna ROSTA exposed the enemies of the young Soviet republic, dealt with the pressing issues of the day, and reproduced in large form telegrams sent by the agency to the newspapers. The posters, except for the early hand-drawn ones, were executed and reproduced by stencil. About 150 or more copies of each poster were made and then displayed in shop windows in Moscow and other cities. The posters extensively used elements of the broadside and satirical verse. The drawings, in series of up to 12 on a single sheet, were distinguished by simplicity and conciseness of representation (expressive silhouettes, a scheme of two or three colors). The first poster was made in October 1919 by M. M. Cheremnykh. V. V. Maya-kovsky, I. A. Maliutin, and D. S. Moor later worked with Cheremnykh. Mayakovsky produced bright, incisive drawings and captions.

Similar posters were issued in Petrograd (L. G. Brodaty, V. V. Lebedev, A. A. Radakov), the Ukraine (B. E. Efimov), Baku, Saratov, and elsewhere. The Okna ROSTA played a significant role in the development of Soviet graphic art.


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Lebedev, P. I. Sovetskoe iskusstvo v period inostrannoi voennoi interventsii i grazhdanskoi voiny. Moscow-Leningrad, 1949.
Butnik-Siverskii, B. Sovetskii plakat epokhi grazhdanskoi voiny: 1918–1921. Moscow, 1960.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.