Poster Plakat A Collection of Posters from the Soviet Union and its Satellite Nations

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Kostianitsyn, Vasilii Nikolaevich (Kostitis, Vasilijs)
Костяницын, Василий Николаевич
Born Kalaizin, Tver Province, Russian Empire, 1881; died Moscow, 1940

Vasilii Kostianitsyn worked as a painter, poster artist, graphic artist and house painter. Born into a family of icon painters, he was trained by his father and grandfather in the art. Prior to the October Revolution of 1917, he dedicated himself to painting icons but in the aftermath of the October Revolution, he served on the Central Executive Committee creating posters and popular prints to decorate propaganda trains. He created and exhibited works on revolutionary themes, including landscapes and portraits that incorporated markers of political change happening around him. In 1922, Kostianitsyn graduated from the Moscow School of Painting and he became well-known for his posters, including Peasant! The Red Army Protects your Grain from the Enemies (1920) and Quitter! You help the counter-revolution! (1920); among others. In 1923, he was one of the first members to join AKhRR [Association of Artists of Revolutionary Russia]. Kostianitsyn produced theoretical writings on Socialist Realism of the 1930s as he was a strong advocate of the style as it related artistically and politically to the Soviet Union. His works are held in collections of the State Central Museum of Contemporary History of Russia, the Central Museum of Armed Forces of Russia, and the Russian State Library (RSL) in Lugansk. Kostianitsyn frequently signed his posters using the pen-name Kost (Кост).

Sources & Citations

Boris S. Butnik-Siverskii, Sovetskii plakat epokhi Grazhdanskoi voiny, 1918-1921 (Moscow: Vsesoyuznaya knizhnaya palata, 1960), 274, 275, 280, 378.
Khudozhestvennaia vystavka "XV let RKKA" (Moscow: Vsekhudozhnik, 1933), pg.?A short biography of the artist in the catalog.
Izvestia No. 33 (1170) (February 15, 1921): 4.
Proizvodstvenaya propaganda No. 3-4 (1921): 54.
Maslovka-Gorodok khudozhnikov: <>