Vladimir Vasilyevich Lebedev

Vladimir Vasilyevich Lebedev, 1891 to 1967, was a Soviet painter and graphic artist. He became famous for his exceptional illustrations of the poems of the prominent poet and translator Samuil Marshak, such as Circus, Ice Cream, Tale About a Foolish Mouse, Moustached and Striped, Book of Many Colours, Twelve Months and Luggage. As a young boy, Lebedev started to paint postcards that were sold in a shop in Saint Petersburg. At the age of nineteen, he held his first exhibit at the Academy of Fine Arts. In 1913, he began work as a cartoonist for several satirical journals, including the famed Satirikon. At this time he was already a prolific illustrator for the children's magazines Jackdaw, Blue Journal, Everyone's Journal and Argus. He illustrated the children's book The Lion and the Bull in 1917. From 1920-1922, Lebedev worked for The Russian Telegraph Agency (ROSTA) and The Department of Agitation (Agitprop) designing propaganda posters. By the 1920s, Lebedev had friendly relations with many distinguished persons of his time, such as Tatlin, Ivan Puni, Kazimir Malevich, Vladimir Mayakovsky and the literary critic Nikolay Punin. In the 1920s, Lebedev had earned the title of "King of the Children's Book" and had become a pioneer in the field of children's illustrations. Nikolai Punin, who wrote the first monograph on Lebedev, cited Lebedev as one of the most important illustrators of the era:
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