“Leningrad. Siege. Military pencil.1941-1944”

Within the frames of cooperation treaty signed between Yerevan History Museum and the state museums of Leningrad Defense and Siege Memory, on November 10, at 13.30 the exhibition “Leningrad. Siege. Military pencil.1941-1944” opens in Yerevan History Museum.
A series of posters drawn by Leningrad artists during the period of the Siege of Leningrad in 1941-1944 and dedicated to “Military pencil” union are exhibited.
The history of union started in the years of the Soviet-Finnish war, in 1939-1940 when a group of authors first used the name “Martial pencil” and the symbol where a gun with a pencil and the palette were used instead of the bayonet for their works.
The creators of the group and permanent participants were famous drawers-Ivan Astapov,Valentin Kurdov, Nikolay Muratov, Vladimir Galba, Nikolay Tirsa and many others. The authors of the texts were poets and writers Natalya Dilaktorskaya, Evgeni Shwartz and Nikolay Tikhonov.
The first issue of “Martial pencil” was on June 23,1941. The posters had wide range of themes: newspapers with heroic calls and propaganda posters, pictures with episodes of war and caricatures of fascist aggressors. In the posters the authors combined the traditions of Russian engraved linden and the Soviet civil caricature, experience of magazine and newspaper drawings. In the original the format of issue wasn’t big as the posters were first of all provided for the frontline and were stuck in trenches, bomb shelters, hospitals. Separate posters were placed on information boards of the besieged city.
In the autumn of 1941 the artists like many employees of Leningrad factories and offices lived in barrack situation taking a shelter in the building of the union of Artists. In the spring of 1942 some of the artists were sent to frontier units, outside the blockade, others were evacuated, however, many of them weren’t able to survive in the severe winter and died. Among them were one of the founders of Leningrad drawing school Nikolay Tirsa, drawers Ivan Kholodov and Ivan Korolyov, sculptor and illustrator Sophia Pelipeyko.
The martial activity of the union ended in the first half of 1945. 103 numbered newspapers, a number of not numerated posters, a dozen of postcards with total printed quantity of about 2 millions were issued in that period. The activity of the artists of “ Martial pencil” left a significant trait in the history of patriotic history. Their patriotic contribution to the issue of victory against fascism is invaluable. During the war their best works not only kept their value as a documental material but also as works of art. The exhibition is open till December 1.