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

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. Thereafter, 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. He frequently signed his posters using the pen-name Kost (Кост).

In 1923, he was one of the first members of AKhRR [Association of Artists of Revolutionary Russia]. An advocate of Socialist Realism in art, Kostianitsyn produced theoretical writings on the subject during the 1930s whereby he related the style of art politically to the Soviet Union. In Russia, Kostianitsyn's works are held in collections of the State Central Museum of Contemporary History, the Central Museum of Armed Forces and in the Russian State Library at Lugansk.

Sources & Citations

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