Samoderzhavnii stroi [The Autocratic System], a poster by Alexei Radakov (1872-1942). Published by Parus, Petrograd, 1917. 58.5 x 60 cm.
This poster was produced after the February Revolution that led to the fall of the monarchy, most likely March 1917. At the time, the left-leaning Parus Publishing, founded by Maxim Gorky in 1914, became actively involved in political poster production. Alexei Radakov, a regular contributor to the popular Satiricon and New Satiricon magazines, was at the time one of the best-known Russian satirical artists of the “progressive” camp. He continued to produce posters, and regularly published his satirical and humorous drawings in various newspapers and magazines until his death in evacuation in Tbilisi during the WWII. While in the Soviet times his popularity had somewhat waned on the national level, he remained the perennial favorite of the reading public in his native city of St. Petersburg/Leningrad.