Lithograph titled "Hero Soldier", 1914.
Measures 14" x 21".
The left margin has publisher's information near the bottom "I.Ya. Vinogradov Lithography, Moscow. Tel. 186-72". The right margin is marked "Moscow, Publisher's Storage, Nikitskiy Blvd d#10, apt #9". The text at the bottom reads "On August 22nd during his review of an ambulance train the Supreme Commander kindly bestowed St. George Cross, 4th cl. upon Private David Vyzhimok, from a peasant family in the Poltava Region. [The award was issued] for the following feat: Vyzhimok had served as a dispatch rider for a Hussar officer who was seriously wounded in the head during a battle with the German troops and left behind on the battlefield as the hussars retreated. Under heavy fire Vizhimok found his officer and despite the seemingly hopeless state of the latter, carried him to the friendly positions. Acting alone Vyzhimok hid under bridges and in ditches from the enemy patrols, and under fire carried the officer 6 versts [versta is an old Russian measure of distance, 6 versts equals approx. 4 miles]".
The black and white, sepia toned artwork is unusually realistic and detailed, quite different in this sense from most other Russian propaganda posters of WW1 that tended to be of cartoonish or "lubok" style, in bright colors. It is interesting to see that the artist took care to show broken pieces of equipment strewn on the battlefield such as the smashed German Pickelhaube helmets. Note also the realistic manner in which Pvt. Vyzhimok gives the officer a piggyback ride while using his own rifle as improvised support.
This uncommon example of poster art apparently created by someone with at least some knowledge of the subject - unlike many other propaganda artists of the era.
The poster is in excellent condition, outstanding for a WW1 era piece. There are only a few small tears on the margins, none of which affect the image. Otherwise perfect.
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