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Mel'nikov, Dmitrii Ivanovich

Мельников, Дмитрий Иванович

Born 1889, Tiumen, Russian Empire; died 1966, Moscow, USSR

Dmitrii Ivanovich Mel’nikov was a Soviet graphic artist, illustrator, and a caricaturist. He graduated in 1917 from the Moscow School of Painting, Sculpture and Architecture. During the period of his artistic studies, Mel’nikov began working as a caricaturist by drawing cartoons that portrayed Imperial Russian cultural personalities. Professionally, Mel'nikov was a collaborating artist with the Soviet magazines “Theater and Footlights” and “New Satyricon”. He also developed decorations for public holidays and from 1919 to 1922, he published articles on the fine arts in the magazine Tvorchestvo (Creativity). In addition, Mel'nikov served as an artist at the magazines: Bezbozhnik (Atheist), Smekhach (Laughter), Krasny perets (Red Pepper), and Krokodil (Crocodile).

In 1922, Mel’nikov became a member of the Association of Artists of Revolutionary Russia (A.Kh.R.R.). By the mid-1920s, he was a member of the Association of Graphic Artists of the State Printing House (AKhG), a Moscow-based consortium that operated from 1926 to 1929. Additionally, the artist was a member of the Moscow Salon Society and of the Society of Artists of the Moscow School. The artist also participated in the exhibitions ,“Engraving of the USSR at 10 years 1917-1927” (1927, Moscow), “Caricature in the Service of Socialist Construction” (1932, Moscow), and a host of others.

Some of Mel’nikov’s best-known poster titles are: “Day of Soviet Propaganda. Knowledge to everyone!” and “Worker, prepare yourself! The Entente wavered. The proletariat of the West is coming to your aid" (both 1919); "Down with Capital, Long Live the Dictatorship of the Proletariat! October 25, 1917 – November 7 (October 25) 1920”, (1920); and “Heritage Week for the Red Army” (1921).

During the Second World War, Dmitrii Mel’nikov served as a poster designer for the Moscow-based TASS (Telegraph Agency of the Soviet Union) artist studio. He also was an illustrator for the Moscow Pravda newspaper. In the immediate post-war era, Mel’nikov authored a series of art critiques for a host of Soviet magazines and journals.


Milner, J. (1993). A dictionary of Russian and Soviet artists 1420-1970. Woodbridge: Antique Collectors' Club. (bio)
Baburina, N. I. (1988). The Soviet Political Poster, 1917-1980. New York: Penguin. (bio)
Mercer and Middlesex Auction catalog June 5, 2011 (bio) (bio) (bio)