"We need a war"

Poster
1931 (designed), 15/03/1932 (ready for production), 21/03/1932 (ready for printing)
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Image of Gallery in South Kensington
On display at V&A South Kensington
Prints & Drawings Study Room, level C
Artist/Maker
Place Of Origin

This poster features an image by celebrated propaganda artist Victor Deni and a poem by the equally celebrated Soviet poet Demian Bedny (Demian the Poor), the pseudonym of Efim Pridvorov. It shows capitalists as initiators of war, and war as a source of capitalist profit. The poem by Bedny declares, on the other hand, that the task of proletariat is to destroy warmongering and foster peace.


object details
Categories
Object Type
Materials and Techniques
colour lithograph
Brief Description
Anti-Capitalist Soviet Poster published by IZOGIZ, USSR, 1932
Physical Description
A fat Capitalist in a top hat with a cigar in his mouth is sitting on the pile of shipping boxes & crates. His vest is inscribed with the words "We need a war". The boxes are denoted as "military shipments". Cannons are visible behind the pile of boxes. Underneath the picture is a poem titled "To be destroyed", composed by Demian Bedny.
Dimensions
  • Height: 38.8cm
  • Width: 67.4cm
Marks and Inscriptions
  • "We need a war" ((top, across the waistcoat of the Capitalist))
  • "Military shipments". ((middle, across the shipping boxes))
  • Deni, 31 (designer's signature and date of his original design)
  • To Be Destroyed This disgusting figure Does not need an extra evidence. The bourgeois culture Found in it its precise and evil face. This creature is glutinous and introvert, Full of self-admiration, Yes, it craves a war: A war is what it eats. War - unbelievable profits! War - hustle and bustle on a stock exchange! The destruction of this creature Is the law of proletariat. / Demian Bedny ((bottom, below the picture))
  • Glavlit Street, N B-17444, Izogiz N 3950, I32, N 681. Order N 939, quantity 30,000. Given into production on 15.03.32, signed for printing on 21.03.32, St. format 70x100 ½ l. Price 30 copeek. ((left lower margin))
  • OGIZ-IZOGIZ, Moscow 1932 Leningrad ((centre lower margin))
  • Artist Deni. Editor Korobchenko. Tech. editor Yakovlev A.A. Offset printing "Izvestii VCIK" ((right lower margin))
Credit line
Gift of the American Friends of the V&A; Gift to the American Friends by Leslie, Judith and Gabri Schreyer and Alice Schreyer Batko
Subjects depicted
Place Depicted
Summary
This poster features an image by celebrated propaganda artist Victor Deni and a poem by the equally celebrated Soviet poet Demian Bedny (Demian the Poor), the pseudonym of Efim Pridvorov. It shows capitalists as initiators of war, and war as a source of capitalist profit. The poem by Bedny declares, on the other hand, that the task of proletariat is to destroy warmongering and foster peace.
Other Number
LS.2707 - Leslie Schreyer Loan Number
Collection
Accession Number
E.1973-2004

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record createdJuly 8, 2005
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