Vladimir Lebedev

Born: 1891, St Petersburg
Died: 1967, Leningrad

Painter, graphic artist, illustrator, poster and theatrical designer, teacher. Born in St Petersburg in the family of a mechanic called Vasily Lebedev (1891). Graduated from the Peter I Commercial College at 62 River Fontanka Embankment in St Petersburg (1909). Studied at Andrei Titov’s studio (1909), under Franz Roubaud at the Imperial Academy of Arts (1910–11, occasional student 1912–14) and at the Mikhail Bernstein and Leonid Sherwood School of Painting, Drawing and Sculpture (1912–15). Collaborated with the Satyricon, New Satyricon and Argus magazines (1911–17). Worked as a draftsman at a military airfield during the First World War (1914–17). Decorated Police Bridge on Nevsky Prospekt and Victims of the Revolution Square (Field of Mars) on the first anniversary of the Bolshevik revolution (1918), designed patterns for the State Porcelain Factory (1918–19), deputy director for art and propaganda at the poster department of the Petrograd branch of the Russian Telegraph Agency, where he designed over five hundred posters (1920–21). Taught at the Petrograd State Free Art Studios (1918–21). Designed the sets and costumes for performances of the play Spring at the Halt of Comedians (1918) and Konstantin Khokhlov’s production of Sem Benelli’s play La cena delle beffe at the Bolshoi Theatre of Drama in Petrograd (1923). Member of the Union of Youth (1918), Unification of New Trends in Art (1920–23) and Four Arts (1926). Illustrated Stepan Kondurushkin’s The Lion and the Bull (1918), Nikolai Gogol’s The Nose (1919) and The Carriage (1919), Rudyard Kipling’s The Elephant’s Child (1921), Samuel Marshak’s The Circus (1924), The Ice-Cream Man (1924), The Tale of the Silly Little Mouse (1925), The Luggage (1926), The Poodle (1927), Stripes and Whiskers (1930), Mister Twister (1933), Fairy Tales, Songs, Riddles (1934) and Twelve Months (1943) and Leo Tolstoy’s The Three Bears (1947). Worked on such graphic series as Laundresses (1920–25), Non-Objective Compositions (1921–22), Sidewalk of the Revolution (1922), Love of Riff-Raff (1922), New Way of Life (1924) and NEP (1924–27). Painted still-lifes (late 1920s) and female portraits (1930s). Married Sarra Dormilatova (1920s), Nadezhda Nadezhdina (1930s), Irina Kichanova (1940s), Galina Pinayeva (1950s) and Ada Lazo (1960s). Art editor of the department of children’s literature at the State Publishing House in Leningrad (1924–33). Criticised in Pravda and sacked from the State Publishing House (1936). Worked for the Leningrad branch of the Art Publishing House (1941). Evacuated to Kirov (1941). Moved to Moscow (1942), where he worked for the poster department of TASS (1942–45). Returned to Leningrad (1950). Awarded a silver medal at the Internationale Buchkunst-Ausstellung in Leipzig (1959) and a major silver medal at the Exhibition of Economic Achievements in Moscow (1960). Died in Leningrad and buried at the Cemetery of St John the Theologian (1967). Contributed to exhibitions (from 1909). Contributed to the exhibitions of the Union of Youth (from 1918), Unification of New Trends in Art (1920–22), Die erste russische Kunstausstellung at the Galerie Van Diemen in Berlin (1922), La Fiera internazionale del Libro in Florence (1922), Exposition Internationale des Arts Décoratifs et Industriels Modernes in Paris (1925), Four Arts (from 1928), First Exhibition of Works by Leningrad Artists at the Russian Museum in Leningrad (1935) and one-man shows at the Russian Museum in Leningrad/St Petersburg (1928, 1972, 1994), Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts in Moscow (1967) and the Tretyakov Gallery in Moscow (2010). Honoured Artist of the RSFSR (1945), People’s Artist of the RSFSR (1966), corresponding member of the Academy of Arts of the USSR (1967).

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