In Russian, cheaply printed popular pictures have a special name – lubok. The tradition started in the late 17th century when graphics and narratives derived from stories, tales and religious literature to make it more accessible to illiterate people. Some pictures were serialised and thus became predecessors of the modern comic strip. Although educated people initially looked down upon such pictures, by the end of 19th century they started recognising artistic value in them and even tried to imitate popular style in professional art. During the First World War the traditions of lubok were used to tell people about the events at the fronts and, at the same time, to boost morale and satirise the enemies. In this picture, the small print tells what happened at the front on 7-9 August 1914, but one does not have to be able to read to understand that the Germans, although advancing in large numbers, were humiliated and defeated by our (Russian!) brave soldiers.
- Article by:
- Ekaterina Rogatchevskaia
- Civilians, Representation and memory
Lead Curator Dr Katya Rogatchevskaia draws on diaries, memoirs and other personal accounts to explore the experiences of Russian civilians and soldiers during World War One.