The War with Turkey. Offensive on Erzurum
This print showing a battle between Russians and Turks at Erzurum is from the collection of World War I lubok posters held at the British Library. The caption explains: “We continued pursuing the destroyed main Turkish forces in the direction of Erzurum, and we captured many prisoners, weapons, ammunition boxes, and equipment. The path of the Turkish retreat is covered with the corpses of their dead frozen soldiers. According to unanimous prisoner testimony, broken Turkish troops are rushing to take shelter behind the fortifications at Deve-Boyan and Erzurum.” 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.
Ivanov Lithography, Moscow
Title in Original Language
Война с Турцией. Наступление на Эрзерум
Type of Item
Last updated: November 14, 2017