Aleksandr Petrovich Apsit (Latvian, 1880-1944) Girl in traditional costume the wooden frame executed in the style of I. Bilibin

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Lot 1
Aleksandr Petrovich Apsit
(Latvian, 1880-1944)
Girl in traditional costume the wooden frame executed in the style of I. Bilibin

£ 8,000 - 12,000
US$ 11,000 - 16,000
Aleksandr Petrovich Apsit (Latvian, 1880-1944)
Girl in traditional costume
signed in Cyrillic with pseudonym 'ASPID' and dated ''904' (lower right)
watercolour
63 x 30cm (24 13/16 x 11 13/16in).
the wooden frame executed in the style of I. Bilibin

Footnotes

  • Alexander Petrovitch Apsit (pseudonym 'ASPID', meaning 'asp') was born into a family of workers from Riga who moved to Saint Petersburg in 1894. From 1898 to 1899 he attended the drawing school there and was a student in the studio of Lev Dmitriev-Kavkazskii.

    From 1900 to 1910, Apsit was a member of the Moscow artist circle Sreda. During this time he worked for various Petersburg magazines and designed war placards. Following the October Revolution, Apsit was commissioned by the Soviet government to design revolutionary posters because of his experience with political propaganda.

    Heavily influenced by the Russian lubok style, Apsit's posters were finely detailed and accompanied by explanatory texts. His poster A Year of Proletarian Dictatorship is regarded as a milestone in Soviet poster history. Designed for the first anniversary of the October Revolution, it displays the most important elements of the language of the Revolution: a farmer with a red flag and a scythe, and a blacksmith with a hammer crushing the emblems of overthrown capitalism, both as guards in front of a field with simple flags. Through the medium of his posters, Alexander Apsit perfected the symbols of the hammer, the sickle and the red star, the images of the Soviet communist era. He is regarded as the founder of Soviet poster art.

    In 1919, Apsit left Moscow and worked as a book illustrator in Latvia. There he designed advertising cards, greeting cards as well as chocolate and sweet wrappers for Vilhelms Ķuze. In 1939, he moved to Germany, where he died in 1943.
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