Although known for his characterizations and posters that he signed with the pseudonym 'Deni'; Viktor Nikolayevich Denisov never received formal artistic education. Around 1906, Deni began exhibiting at the annual exhibitions of the Society of Independents in Saint Petersburg, as well as at the Salon of Humorists. In 1910, he took private lessons in painting and drawing from the artist-portraitist Nikolai P. Ulianov and that same year, he became active in the field of political caricature, contributing satirical drawings to such journals as Budil'nik [Alarm Clock], Satiricon, Solntse Rossii [Russian Sun], Pulemet [Machine Gun], Knut [Whip], while contributing to the newspaper Golos Moskvy [Voice of Moscow]. After the October Revolution of 1917, Deni worked for Litizdat (State Publishing House). During the early post-Revolutionary period, he lived in Kazan' and produced his first posters there while continuing to work on political caricatures for a myriad of Soviet journals.
In 1928, Nikolai Andreevich Dolgorukov moved from his native Ekaterinburg to Moscow to attend VKhUTEIN (Higher State Artistic and Technical Institute). After that organization dissolved in 1930, Dolgorukov continued his studies at the Moscow Polygraphic Institute under the tutelage of artists Lev Bruni and Dimitri Moor. Dolgorukov's training was in illustrated political satire as well as in poster design, and each area became the main focus of his long career. After graduation, he collaborated with fellow poster artist Viktor Deni. The duo went on to design a host of iconic Soviet posters from the 1930s to the 1940s. Dolgorukov also created illustrations for prominent newspapers such as: Krasnaia Zvezda [Red Star] (1933), Pravda [Truth], (1934), Izvestia [News] (1949), and for journals including Proektor [Projector] (1932-1935), Sovetskii Soldat [Soviet Soldier] (1941) and Iskra [Spark] (1942). Dolgorukov produced a variety of well-known posters, such as Under the Banner of Lenin toward the Formation of a Classless Society (1932) and Five-Year Plan (co-authored with Deni in 1933). During World War II, Dolgorukov remained active as a graphic designer and a cartoonist producing a myriad of war-time posters including, We'll Sweep Away the Fascist Barbarians (1941) and The Enemy Will Not Have Mercy! He contributed two poster designs to the Soviet telegraph TASS Studio between the autumn of 1942 and the autumn of 1943.
Iskusstvo means "Art"
Iskusstvo was the Art Publishing House (A.K.A. Visual Arts Publishing) that was created in 1936 from Ogiz-Izogiz (State Art and Literature Publishing House). It disseminated books and journals dealing with graphic design and the fine arts, and it issued numerous posters. Since the Iskusstvo banner was part of the State Printing Works in Leningrad (St. Petersburg) and Moscow, its two main offices were located in those two cities.