Otsup, Petr

Otsup, Petr Adol’fovich


Born 1883 in St. Petersburg; died 1963 in Moscow. Soviet master of photography.

In the 1890’s Otsup was an apprentice in photographic studios in St. Petersburg. Beginning in 1900, he turned to photographic journalism. During a period of more than half a century, he took about 40,000 photographs that recorded many major historical events, among them the Russo-Japanese War of 1904–05, the Revolution of 1905–07, and World War I (1914–18).

Otsup was persecuted for his political activity between 1905 and 1907. During the armed uprising of October 1917 he was at Smol’nyi (formerly the Smol’nyi Institute for Girls of the Nobility). He was the only photographic journalist present at the Second Congress of Soviets. Between 1919 and 1925, Otsup worked in the photographic studio of the All-Russian Central Executive Committee, and between 1925 and 1935 he directed the photographic studio of the All-Union Central Council of Trade Unions. Otsup took many portraits of outstanding revolutionary figures; between 1918 and 1922 he took 35 portraits of Lenin. His politically assertive photography is marked by conciseness and an austere documentary manner.


“Sorok let na fotoreportazhe.” Sovetskoe foto, 1939, no. 11.