Stalinskim dukhom krepka i sil’na armiya nasha i nasha strana [Stalin’s Spirit Is the Source of Strength and Power for Our Army and Our Nation], a poster by Viktor Deni (Victor Denisov, 1893-1946, Meritorious Art Worker of the Russian Federation) and Nikolai Dolgorukov (1902-1980, Meritorious Art Worker of the Russian Federation). Published by the Red Army Political Directorate, Moscow, 1939. 91.5 x 59.5 cm.
A rare example of an important 1939 poster executed in the photomontage technique that by the time had gone out of favor with Soviet art ideologues. Equally striking is that it was produced by the Deni-Dolgorukov team — both artists (especially Deni, widely recognized as a master of drawing) had shown little interest in photomontage through their long and successful careers.
We assume that most people interested in Soviet poster art are familiar with Deni’s name, and his works; details of his biography are widely available in the literature and on the internet. Through his career, his collaborator, Nikolai Dolgorukov, a well-liked younger artist, had spent quite a bit of time finishing the designs suggested by his “higher ranking” partners — first Deni, and later, Efimov. He was, however, fully capable of producing high-caliber posters on his own when given an opportunity — as he fully demonstrated during the war, and in his solo works of late 1950s that won him a number of prizes in the international exhibitions. Dolgorukov was a graduate of Moscow VKhUTEIN (class of 1934), where he studied under Moor.