The European War. The Defeat of the Germans near Warsaw


This print showing combat amongst trees and the defeat of the Germans in a battle near Warsaw is from the collection of World War I lubok posters held at the British Library. The caption explains: “The Siberian Corps demonstrated particular valor in the battles near Warsaw. They captured many prisoners of the 20th German Corps in the battle in the Moshidlovskii Forest. The 17th Corps delivered the main offensive in the area of Błonie and Pruszków and suffered the most. There, Siberians together with the Russian corps inflicted huge losses on the enemy. The Germans had tens of thousands of dead and wounded.” Lubok is a Russian word for popular prints created from woodcuts, engravings, etchings, or later, by using lithography. The prints were often characterized by simple, colorful graphics depicting a narrative, and could also include text. Lubok gained popularity in Russia beginning in the late 17th century. The prints, which often depicted narratives from a historical event, literature, or a religious tale, were used to make such stories accessible to illiterate people. These expressive prints had a wide range in tone, from humorous to instructive to sharp political and social commentary. The images were clear and easy to understand, and some of the pictures were serialized, predecessors of the modern comic strip. Prints could be reproduced inexpensively, and were thus a way for the masses to display art at home. Initially, this artistic style was not taken seriously by the upper classes, but by the end of the 19th century, lubok was so well-regarded that it inspired professional artists. During World War I, lubok informed Russians about events on the frontlines, bolstered morale, and served as propaganda against enemy combatants.

Date Created

Subject Date

Publication Information

M. A. Strel’tsov Lithography, Moscow


Title in Original Language

Европейская война. Разгром немцев под Варшавой

Type of Item

Last updated: April 3, 2015