Boris Pil’niak, 1894-1937.
Иван да Марья.
[Ivan and Maria.]

Petersburg and Berlin: Z. I. Grzhebin, 1922.


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Alekseĭ Mikhailovich Remizov, 1877-1957.
А.Х.Р.У.: повѣсть петербургская.
[A.Kh.R.U.: A Petersburg Tale.]
Illustrations by V. Masiutin.
Berlin, Petersburg, and Moscow: Z. I. Grzhebin, 1922.


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Boris Pil’niak, 1894-1937.
Повесть петербургская.
[A Petersburg Tale.]
Illustrations by V. Masiutin.
Petersburg: Helicon, 1922.

Since the nineteenth century St. Petersburg played a major role as a literary theme in the works of Pushkin, Dostoevsky, Gogol, and others. In the twentieth century this trend continued. Probably the best known example, although not shown here, is Andrey Bely’s Petersburg.

Note that the covers of this book and the one above were illustrated by V. Masiutin, the same artist who illustrated our copy of The Twelve



Many publishers, whether they remained in Russia or relocated to Europe during and following the revolution, retained the names of their firms and their marks incorporating St. Petersburg landmarks or symbols. The three books shown below were published by Epoch in Petersburg alone, in both Berlin and Petersburg, and finally in Berlin alone. Epoch took as its mark a view of the Peter and Paul Fortress from beneath what appears to be the Hermitage Bridge spanning the Winter Ditch Canal. The birthday of St. Petersburg is considered to be the date of the founding of this fortress.

Andrey Bely [pseud. Of Boris Nikolaevich Bugaev], 1880-1934.
После разлуки.
[After the Separation.]

Petersburg and Berlin: Epoch, 1922.


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Andrey Bely [pseud. Of Boris Nikolaevich Bugaev], 1880-1934.
Поэзия слова
[Poetry of the Word.]

Petersburg: Epoch, 1922.


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Aleksandr Aleksandrovich Blok, 1880-1921.
Собрание сочинений.
[Collected Works.]

Volume 3. Berlin: Epoch, 1923.


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Aleksandr Aleksandrovich Blok, 1880-1921.
[Verses 1898-1921.]

Leningrad and Moscow: Petrograd, 1925.

The names of publishing houses also reflected St. Petersburg landmarks and the name of the city itself. Here the publishing house is named Petrograd, the name that St. Petersburg adopted just after the revolution.


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Aleksandr Aleksandrovich Blok, 1880-1921.
Роза и крестъ.
[The Rose and the Cross.]

Berlin: Neva, 1922.

The Berlin publishing house Neva is named for the Neva River that runs through St. Petersburg.


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Heinrich Friedrich von Storch, 1766-1835.
Gemalde von St. Petersburg.
[Picture of Saint Petersburg.]
Volume 2.
Riga: Johan Friedrich Hartknoch, 1794.


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Альманахъ Медный всадникъ.
[Almanac Bronze Horseman.]
No. 1.
Berlin: Bronze Horseman, 1924.

One of the most frequently used symbols of St. Petersburg was and still is the Bronze Horseman, symbolizing the rule of Peter the Great. This statue was commissioned by Empress Catherine the Great and was a symbol of St. Petersburg in the eighteenth century. It remained a symbol of the city for this Berlin publisher of the Almanac Bronze Horseman 130 years later.


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M. A. Orlov.
Ленинград: путеводитель.
[Leningrad: a Guide.]
Volume II.
Moscow and Leningrad: OGIZ Socio-Economic Publisher, 1933.

Soviet publications continued to make use of prerevolutionary St. Petersburg motifs. The fly-leaves of this set contain the pattern of a wrought iron fence from the Summer Palace and Garden.


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A. P. Presman

Leningrad and Moscow: Worker of Enlightenment, 1930.

The same wrought iron fence symbolizes Saint Petersburg on this book cover. It is juxtaposed with smokestacks, symbolizing the contemporary city, Leningrad.


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Ilia Grigor’evich Erenburg, 1891-1967.
Неправдоподобныя исторїи.
[Unlikely Stories.]

Berlin: S. Efron, [n.d.].

The publisher Efron, located in Berlin, took the same wrought iron pattern for its mark.


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Aleksandr Pavlovich Ivanov.
Врубель: биографическїй очеркъ.
[Vrubel’: Biographical Essay.]
Artistic production and publication by N. I. Butkovskaia.
Saint Petersburg, 1911.

Crafted and published by N.I. Butkovskaia, this book is a study of the life and works of Russian painter, set designer, and folk artist Mikhail Aleksandrovich Vrubel, 1856-1910. The wing on the cover might refer to Vrubel’s painting “Six-winged Seraphim,” particularly in light of his death one year earlier.


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Nikolaĭ Semenovich Leskov, 1831-1895.
Тупейный художник.
[Coiffure Artist.]
Illustrations by M. Dobuzhinsky.
Petersburg: Akvilon, 1922.

Mstislav Dobuzhinsky was a prolific illustrator in Russia during the first two decades of the twentieth century. In addition to illustrating books and journals, he also worked independently. One of his most-used themes was St. Petersburg. [See Wandering Enthusiast and House of Arts for other work by Dobuzhinsky.]


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Nikolaĭ Semenovich Leskov, 1831-1895.
Избранные сочинения.
[Selected Works.]
Colored illustrations, fly-leaves and cover by D. I. Mitrokhin.
Moscow and Leningrad: Academia, 1931.

Dmitri Mitrokhin also illustrated books during the first several decades of the twentieth century, but his focus was on the book itself. For this work, published by the Academy of Arts, he provided the illustrations, and also designed the fly-leaves and cover.


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Aleksandr Aleksandrovich Blok, 1880-1921.
Соловьиный садъ.
[Nightingale Garden.]

Petersburg: “Al'konost”, 1918.

Sedoe utro.
[Grey Morning.]

Peterburg: “Alkonost,” 1920.

In 1918 the Saint Petersburg book dealer Samuel Alyonsky contacted Aleksandr Blok to see if he had any remainders from his last publishing run which he was willing to sell. When the two men met, they discovered that they had been former schoolmates, and rekindled their friendship. Alyonsky left that meeting carrying the manuscript for Blok’s Nightingale Garden with the understanding that it would be the first publication of his Alkonost (Bird of Paradise) Press. It is said that he and Blok were so excited about this new enterprise that they overlooked the misspelling of Alkonost in the publisher’s mark designed by Iurii Annenkov, where it is spelled “Al’konost”. A mark redesigned by Annenkov with changed spelling was used in later publications such as Sedoe utro.


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Nikolaĭ Semenovich Leskov, 1831-1895.
Очарованный странник.
[The Enchanted Wanderer.]
With 14 lithographs by N. Rosenfeld.
Moscow and Leningrad: Academia, 1932.

By the 1930s many artists found themselves unfavored or persecuted by the authorities, but those who were flexible enough, such as Rosenfeld, found work in book design or illustration. In addition to current literature, works from the past were republished or reprinted and presented new opportunities for illustration.


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Fyodor Sologub, 1863-1927.

Petersburg: Wandering Enthusiast, 1921.


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Mstislav Valerianovich Dobuzhinskiĭ, 1875-1957.
Publisher’s mark for Странствующiй энтузiастъ
(Wandering Enthusiast.)
Original drawing.

The publisher’s mark for the publisher Wandering Enthusiast was designed by Mstislav Dobuzhinsky. One of the artist’s sketches for this design was used as the publisher's mark for Incense, above. Dobuzhinsky’s work appears elsewhere in this exhibit [Coiffure Artist, House of Arts].


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Vladislav Kreskent’evich Lukomskiĭ, 1882-1946, and Georgiĭ Kreskent’evich Lukomskiĭ, 1884-ca.1928.

Saint Petersburg: Society of Saint Eugene of the Red Cross, 1913.

Written by two brothers, this is a book devoted to the history and culture of Kostroma, an island on the Volga River in northeast Russia. The ornamental lettering of the title page and capitals is very similar to the calligraphy of Remizov.


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Alekseĭ Mikhailovich Remizov and Serafima Pavlovna Remizova-Dovgello.
Лѣтописный московскій список.
[The Moscow Chronicle
, 1938.]
Calligraphic rendering of a manuscript which contains entries 1357 to 1678.
Reproduction of the title page of The Moscow Chronicle, 1938.

Remizov was a writer who integrated as many aspects as possible of writing, research, and book art in his works. He treasured all that was Russian, which drew him to Russia’s language and cultural heritage. Although he initially established ties with the Symbolists, he developed a unique artistic philosophy and style.

The calligraphic rendering of the chronicle displayed here is based on a transcript made by Serafima Dovgello-Remizova from the original in Paris. Her husband then took the transcription and created a manuscript from it in his own hand. The resulting document and its cover are unique products of this collaboration.


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Alekseĭ Mikhailovich Remizov, 1877-1957.
Николины притчи.
[Nichola Tales.]
Cover design by Sergiei Vasil’evich Chekhonin, 1878-1936.
Petrograd: S. I. Grzhebin, 1917.

Remizov treasured Russia’s cultural heritage, including folk tales and lore. This book’s epigraph reads “Every housewife has her tale about Nikola,” borne out by the contents of this volume, which are variants of Nikola (Russian Saint Nicholas) tales recorded in the field by folklore collectors.


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Petr Petrovich Potemkin, 1886-1926.

St. Petersburg: M.G. Kornfel’d, 1912.

The cover design of this book is attributed to Dmitrii Isidorovich Mitrokhin, an artist who confined himself primarily to book art and illustration. Within those limits he accepted any project that interested him; he worked for established publishing houses, such as Academia, but also illustrated titles for Satirikon and other newly founded and private publishing enterprises. Geranium contained humor that was considered to be risqué for its time. Another book, both designed and illustrated for Academia by Mitrokhin, can be seen in Selected Works.


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Korneliĭ Liutsianovich Zelinskiĭ, 1896-1970, and Il’ia L’vovich Sel’vinskiĭ, 1899-1968.
Госплан литературы: Сборник Литературного Центра Конструктивистов (ЛЦК).
[The State Plan for Literature: Collection of the Literary Center for Constructivists (LCC).]

Moscow and Leningrad: Circle, 1924.

Constructivism, a Russian school of thought that developed in the third decade of the twentieth century, approached art from a technological point of view. This concept was applied both in choice of artistic subject and in manipulation and selection of media. The creators of this book intended to complete a Construction, which was the result of an artistic collaboration. Different artists designed the textual content, page design, book cover, and format, in an artistic version of division of labor. Also displayed here is a reproduced page of text. The publisher was Krug (Circle), who also published works by Esenin, Mayakovsky, and other Futurists.