St Eugene Red Cross Charity Antique Imperial Russian Postcard by Ivan Bilibin


Fine antique imperial Russian postcard by Ivan Yakovlevich Bilibin (1876-1942), produced by the religious community of St. Eugene showing Bilibin's interest in the north of Russia, where he became fascinated with old wooden architecture and Russian folklore between 1902-1904.

He was a 20th-century illustrator and stage designer who took part in the Mir iskusstva, contributed to the Ballets Russes, became co-founder of the 'Soyuz russkih hudožnikov' '(Association of Russian Painters) and since 1937 a member of the Soyuz hudožnikov SSSR (Painters Association of the USSR). Throughout his career, he was inspired by Slavic folklore.

Ivan Bilibin was born in Tarkhovka, a suburb of St. Petersburg and studied in 1898 at  Anton Ažbe Art School in Munich, then under Ilya Repin in St. Petersburg. After graduating in May 1900 he went to Munich, where he completed his training with the painter Anton Ažbe. During the period 1902 to 1904, he also went to the ethnographic section of the museum of Alexander III to collect Ethnographic material and to photograph monuments of old village architecture in the Vologda, Archangelsk region, Tver; Skaja  and Petrozavodsk. He published his findings in the monograph Folk Arts of the Russian North in 1904.

After the formation of the artists' association Mir Iskusstva, where he was an active member, his entry into the newspaper and book graphics scene began with a commission for the design of magazine Mir Iskusstva in 1899.

Bilibin gained renown in 1899, when he released his illustrations of Russian fairy tales. During the Russian Revolution of 1905, he drew revolutionary cartoons, especially for the magazine "Zhupel" (Жупелъ), before being prohibited in 1906. He would further serve as the designer for the 1909 première production of Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov's The Golden Cockerel.

After the October Revolution in 1917, he left Russia which proved alien to him. After brief stints in Cairo and Alexandria, he settled in Paris in 1925, where he took to decorating private mansions and Orthodox churches. He still longed for his homeland and, after decorating the Soviet Embassy in 1936, he returned to Soviet Russia, delivering lectures at the Russian Academy of Arts until 1941. He  died during the Siege of Leningrad and was buried in a collective grave.

Size: 14.5 x 9 cm approx

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