A Battle near L'viv. A Skirmish with Our Vanguard near L'viv


This print showing a battle scene with combat in the foreground and explosions in the background is from the collection of World War I lubok posters held at the British Library. The caption explains: “On August 21, at 11:00 a.m., the victorious army of General Nikolai Ruzsky captured L’viv, the capital of Galicia [in present-day Ukraine]. The capture of the city was preceded by eight days of incessant battles, during which we took 4,000 Austrian prisoners, a few banners, machine guns, and 150 weapons. General Ruzsky had already been awarded the Saint George's Cross of the 4th Class for his previous battles, and for capturing L’viv he was awarded the Saint George's Cross of the 3rd Class. Our artillery destroyed the 80th and 19th Austrian Regiments near L’viv, of which only 270 men and a few people taken prisoner survived.” This picture, like many others in the collection, was printed in the Moscow printing house of Ivan Sytin (1851–1934). By the 1880s, Sytin was the most popular and successful publisher of lubok pictures in Russia. He also published cheap popular books for workers and peasants, textbooks, and literature for children. The quality of this print is much better than many images from other printing houses—more colors and shades are neatly matched and more small details are available for the viewer. 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. During World War I, lubok informed Russians about events on the frontlines, bolstered morale, and served as propaganda against enemy combatants.

Last updated: July 23, 2015