Propaganda

DENI (Viktor-Nikolaevich)

Three Soviet propaganda postcards. 1. [In Russian:] Spider-Cross. - 2. [In Russian:] Death to world imperialism. - 3. [In Russian:] Denikin’s gang beats workers and peasants.

(Russia, circa 1919).

Three 12mo cards, 140 x 90 mm, printed in colour on the recto, the verso, left blank, bears, in the upper corners, the circular mark of the Socialist Federation of Russia and the octagonal mark of the publisher.

Famous images by the great Russian artist, they were also published as posters.

Viktor-Nikolaevich Deni (1893-1946) was born in Moscow under the name Viktor Denisov; he later shortened his name to Deni. A year before the outbreak of the First World War, he moved to St Petersburg and immediately enjoyed success, his caricatures being published in several illustrated satirical newspapers. After the October Revolution, he worked for Litizdat (the state publishing house) and devoted himself to the new Russia. During the Civil War, he designed about fifty posters, including some of his best-known satirical works, such as “Death to Capital – or Death under the Heel of Capital” and “Denikin’s Gang”. In the late 1920s and 1930s, the artist turned to press cartoons dealing with foreign policy. He returned briefly to political posters during the Second World War.

His biting satirical posters and cartoons are characterised by intelligent images and scathing texts that leave no doubt about the identity of friends and enemies in Civil War Russia. Dedicated to the Bolshevik cause, Deni paid tribute to the stalwart factory worker and the noble farmer and demonised the capitalist, the imperialist, the tsar, the kulak, the priest and the White Army general. The heroes are depicted with red fists raised in the service of the community, while the enemies are shown as grotesquely fat, rich and insensitive or as savage beasts hidden behind friendly masks.

Well-preserved and unusual period documents.