Vladimir Lebedev

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 It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Lebedev, Vladimir Vasil’evich


Born May 14 (26), 1891, in St. Petersburg; died Nov. 21,1967, in Leningrad. Soviet painter and graphic artist. People’s Artist of the RSFSR (1966); corresponding member of the Academy of Arts of the USSR (1967).

From 1912 to 1914, Lebedev studied in St. Petersburg at M. D. Bernshtein’s school and at the Academy of Arts. He taught at the academy between 1918 and 1921. He contributed to the journals Satirikon and Novyi Satirikon between 1910 and 1920. Lebedev was one of the founders of the Petrograd Okna ROSTA, for which he created more than 500 posters in 1920 and 1921. In a number of paintings and drawings executed in the early 1920’s, he combined cubist techniques and elements of the folk lubok (inexpensive print). In the cycles of drawings Laundresses (1920–25), Footpath of the Revolution (1922), and NEP (1925–27), which are executed in precise, sharp strokes, motifs from everyday life and grotesque and satirical elements prevail.

In Lebedev’s later paintings, mostly female portraits and nudes, well-organized compositions were combined with a free, impressionistic manner of execution (Portrait of T. V. Shishmareva, 1935, Russian Museum, Leningrad). Lebedev worked extensively as an illustrator of children’s books, creating a special system for their artistic composition by which the conventions of the drawing and a spontaneity of representation are united. His illustrations included those for R. Kipling’s book Elephant’s Child (published in 1921) and for S. Ia. Marshak’s books The Circus (published in 1925), Mister Tvister (published in 1933), and Twelve Months (published in 1943). From 1942 to 1945 Lebedev participated in the creation of Okna TASS.


Punin, N. V. V. Lebedev. Leningrad, 1928.
Petrov, V. V. V. Lebedev: 1891–1967. Leningrad, 1972.
V. V. Lebedev. Katalog vystavki Leningrad, 1972.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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