Friday, 24 October 2014

Illustrations For Russian Children's Literature

'We repudiate all morality taken apart from human society and classes. We say that it is a deception, a fraud, a befogging of the minds of the workers and peasants in the interests of the landlords and capitalists.' - Lenin

Thank John Coltrane that the dark days of landlords and capitalists befogging the minds of workers and modern peasants are over, eh? In the 20s, things were different. Lenin and his people were convinced that capitalism was evil and the enemy of the proletariat. Children were prime target for propaganda, naturally, but their books were beautifully illustrated, as Inside The Rainbow proves. With the likes of Vladimir Mayakovsky, El Lissitzky and Vladimir Lebedev contributing, the message and it's art was made even more powerful. 

Since capitalism won the battle, the world now knows that the Russians were wrong. Children are encouraged to embrace/accept all forms of religious brainwashing organised religion, for instance, and become good capitalists by either exploiting employing workers, or simply working hard so that they may reap such material rewards as 42-inch flatscreen TVs and designer clothes. They may own their own homes when they grow up and becomes slaves to benefit from the banking system which, as we know, rips off governs the world completely. They will be made frequently miserable happy from not attaining the rewards capitalism brings and grow into frustrated and dissatisfied well-adjusted adults. Rejoice!

A. Yakobson, Let Us Take The New Rifles, 1927

Dmitri Bulanov, How They Build, 1922

El Lissitzky, Adding, Subtracting,
Multiplying and Dividing, 1928

unknown, How The Capitalists Are Armed, 1931

Vladimir Lebedev, Suspension Points, 1929

Vladimir Lebedev, Suspension Points, 1929


  1. Fantastic as always, Robin

  2. Fascinating illustrations from a genre which I hold dear - I especially like 'How They Build'. Thanks for sharing these Robin!


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