Russian poster 'Wilhelm's merry-go-round'


This poster caricatures the German emperor’s early defeats in the First World War, saying ‘My army is being beaten near Paris, but I'm running in circles unable to do anything’. It was drawn by Kazimir Malevich and the text was created by Vladimir Mayakovsky, both members of the Russian Futurist movement. 

The Russian Futurists initially supported the war and created patriotic posters and poems. This poster was created as part of the project ‘Today’s Lubok’, which employed Malevich and Mayakovsky in a scheme to make propaganda posters of the war in colourful lubok or folk styles for mass distribution. In writing the text for this poster and also illustrating others, Mayakovsky was entering into a new phase of producing politically committed art. The Futurist poets and artists were soon disillusioned by the carnage of the war and many intensified their work for radical political change. 

Full title:
Russian poster Vilʹgelʹmova karuselʹ [Wilhelm's merry-go-round] by Kazimir Severinovich Malevich and Vladimir Mayakovsky
Poster / Illustration
Kazimir Malevich, Vladimir Mayakovsky
© Kazimir Malevich and Vladimir Mayakovsky
Held by
British Library

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