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Shmarinov, Dementii Alekseevich

Шмаринов, Дементий Алексеевич

Born April 29, 1907, Kazan’, Russian Empire; died August 30, 1999, Moscow, Russia

Dementii Alekseevich Shmarinov was a Soviet painter, graphic artist, muralist and a teacher. In addition, Shmarinov had a significant career as a book illustrator and poster artist.

From 1919 to 1922, Dementii Shmarinov studied at the Kiev studio of Nikolai Prakhov and in Moscow, at the school-studio of Ksaverii Pavlovich Chemko from 1923 to 1928. From then on, the artist lived and worked in Moscow, and he labored mainly in the field of book graphics. Starting in 1927, Shmarinov began working as an illustrator of children's books for the State Publishing House of the USSR. He also designed illustrations for the books "Crime and Punishment" (1935-1936) and "Peter the Great" (1940-1945) and Leo Tolstoi’s "War and Peace" (1953–1955).

During the late 1930s, the artist joined a team creating decorative monumental propaganda panels titled "Masters of the Stakhanov Harvest" for the All-Union Agricultural Exhibition in Moscow. He also worked on the 1939 mural "Notable People of the Land of the Soviets" that included design work by Vasilii Prokofevich Efanov and by the artist Aleksandr Alexandrovich Denika. The mural was installed in the Soviet Pavilions of the 1937 and 1939 World’s Fairs.

During World War II, Shmarinov created the drawing “We will not forget, we will not forgive!”, (1942) and the painting “On conquered land” (1944–1945). From the first days of the war, he embarked on poster design. Some of his poster titles included: “All forces to defend the city of Lenin!”, “Fascists will not pass”, “Crush the fascist monster” (all from 1941); “Revenge”, “Warrior of the Red Army! Repay the enemy for the blood and tears of the Soviet people!”, “Forward to defeat the enemy!”, “I am waiting for you, warrior-liberator!” (all from 1942); “Glory to the liberators of Ukraine! Death to the German invaders”, “In the heroic deeds of my grandchildren I see grandfather’s glory!” (all from 1943); “Poles! The Red Army brings you liberation from the yoke of the Nazis!”, “Revenge ruthlessly fighter!” (each from 1944), and "Vote for the candidates of the bloc of non-party communists!", “Czechs. Slovaks. Poles. The Red Army brings liberation from the fascist yoke!” (each from 1945).

Throughout his life, Shmarinov designed works of Russian and foreign classical literature. Some of the titles were: "Tales of Belkin" (by Pushkin); "The Queen of Spades" (by Lermontov); “Romeo and Juliet” and “The Twelfth Night” (by Shakespeare). Of his later designs, he illustrated the Russian publications of Ernest Hemingway's “For Whom the Bell Tolls”. From 1962 to 1966, Shmarinov directed the creative workshop of graphics in Moscow. In 1989, his monograph "Years of Life and Work" was published.

Dementii Alekseevich Shmarinov was a member of the Union of Artists of the USSR. He was the chairman of the board of the Moscow branch of the Union of Artists of the RSFSR from 1959 to 1961 and then subsequently from 1966to 1968 and 1972 to 1973. In 1945, he was bestowed the title of Honored Artist of the Russian Soviet Federative Republic. In 1967, he was bestowed the title of People's Artist of the Russian Soviet Federative Republic and People's Artist of the USSR. Dementii Shmarinov became a member of the Academy of Arts of the USSR, and a corresponding member of the Academy of Arts in Berlin (1970, East Germany). He also was a member of the Society of Book Artists (1931). He received a Second Place of the Stalin Prize (1943), a Gold Medal at the International Book Exhibition in Leipzig (1959), the Lenin Prize (1980), and the Prize in Arts from the President of the Russian Federation (1997).

Sources & Citations

Boele, O., et al. (2019) Post-Soviet Nostalgia: Confronting the Empire’s Legacies. London: Taylor & Francis. (“Notable People from the Land of the Soviets: Study for a Panel for the Soviet Pavilion at the Paris World’s Fair (1937) by A.A. Deineka; “Notable People of the Land of the Soviets” (1939) by V.P. Efanov, cited)
Bown, M. C. (1991). Art under Stalin. Oxford: Holmes & Meier (bio)
Baburina, N. I. (1988). The Soviet Political Poster, 1917-1980. New York: Penguin. (bio, artist) (bio) (dates and locations of birth and death)