Skip to content

Antonov, Fedor Vasilievich

Антонов Федор Васильевич

Born 1904, Tambov, Imperial Russia; died August 16, 1994, Moscow, Russia

Fedor Vasilievich Antonov was a Soviet painter, muralist, graphic artist, and a textile artist. He studied at the Tambov Real School (later, Tambov State Free Workshops), an institution for the training of technical specialists. While in Tambov, he was sent to Moscow with the Komsomol where he studied at VKhUTEMAS (Higher Art and Technical Studios) from 1922 to 1929 under the noted Soviet-era realist painter, Sergei Vasilevich Gerasimov. Antonov graduated from VKhUTEMAS in 1929 from the textile department. He continued to live and work in Moscow after he completed his education. He also was engaged in academics and taught at the Moscow Institute of Applied and Decorative Arts.

As propaganda art became integrated into Soviet society during the 1920s, Antonov came to be involved in the design of political posters. For Izogiz Publishing, he created numerous titles such as: “Red Army Soldier! Do Not give your Beloved to the Shame and Dishonor of Nazi soldiers” (1942); “Surround with Care the Children who Suffered from Fascist Barbarians!” (1942); "I Want to Live!" (1943), “Glory to Soviet Mothers!” (1944), "Thanks to the Red Army - the Liberator!" (1945).

During World War II, Fedor Antonov created a lasting memento to the era with his depiction of three battle heroes of the Soviet Union in his work, “Three Ivans” (1942). It featured three military pilots who served during the war -- Ivan Shumilov, Ivan Zabolotnii and Ivan Golubin. Antonov also designed several posters for the TASS studio (Telegraph Agency of the Soviet Union) during the war: "Be on your Guard!", ("Masha and Natasha"), ("Father's order of Battle"), ("Comrades! Let's Fulfill the Annual Plan by the Day of the Stalin Constitution!"), and others.

The artist began to exhibit professionally in 1928. Antonov was featured in the following exhibitions: "Soviet Textiles of the Household " (1928), "Art to the Masses" (1929), “Reporting Works of Artists sent to Industrial and Collective Farm Construction (1931, 1932), "Artists of the RSFSR the First XV Years" (Leningrad and Moscow 1932-1934). Three solo exhibitions were held in Moscow in 1934, 1954, and 1964. The artist’s work was also featured in Japan, Sweden, Denmark, Bulgaria, and Germany.

In 1927, Antonov joined OST (Obshchestvo khudozhnikov-stankovistov), the Society of Easel Artists. When OST was terminated, he became a member of IzoBrigada (Art Brigade). Formed in 1931 to advance "political realism" in art, IzoBrigada was disbanded in 1932. Antonov was a member of the Union of Artists of the USSR. In 1975, he was bestowed the title of People's Artist of the RSFSR.

Sources & Citations

Bown, M. C. (1991). Art under Stalin. Oxford: Holmes & Meier. (p. 239, bio) (bio) (names of the three Ivans) (Antonov burial site)