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Heroic Act of Piotr Shipka

  • Object:


  • Place of origin:

    Russia (made)

  • Date:

    ca. 31/05/1919-12/1919 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:


  • Materials and Techniques:

    Colour lithograph

  • 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

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    Prints & Drawings Study Room, level C, case 3G, shelf DR22

The poster praises Piotr Shipka, a Cossak in the White Russian Army, who voluntarily gave his horse to his commander and died under Bolshevik sabres as a result. The propagandist aim of the poster was to paint Shipka as a role model while simultaneously showing the brutality of the Bolshevik Reds. The event took place during the Russian Civil War (1918-1921), which was devastating to the country and left countless dead on both sides.

Physical description

A scene of a battle between the Cossaks and the Bolsheviks. Two equestrian Bolsheviks are about to strike the Cossak Shipka with their sabres. A small scene inset depicts Piotr Shipka giving his horse to his commander. A quote from the Dispatch Order N 15, 31.05.1919.

Place of Origin

Russia (made)


ca. 31/05/1919-12/1919 (made)



Materials and Techniques

Colour lithograph

Marks and inscriptions

The Heroic Act of Piotr Shipka. "Seeing that the enemy is close, that every minute, blinded by demonic anger, Bolsheviks can reach his retreating on foot commander,...Piotr Shipka,... not caring for the mortal danger and remembering only his military and Christian duty, voluntarily gave his horse to his commander,.. and himself fell killed under the sabres of evil Reds, shielding his commander with his body"... (From the Dispatch Order of the Caucasian Army N 15 from 31 May 1919).
from Russian
Left lower corner


Height: 63.5 cm, Width: 86.2 cm

Descriptive line

'Heroic deed of Pyotr Shipka'. White Army anti-Bolshevik poster. ca. 1919. Two Red Army cavalry men attack cossack Shipka who gave his horse to his commander. Russia.

Production Note

Reason For Production: Commemorative
Reason For Production: Commission


Ink; Paper



Subjects depicted

War; Violence; Propaganda; Heroism; Battle; Horses; Ideology; Hero


Prints; Propaganda; Posters

Production Type

Mass produced


Prints, Drawings & Paintings Collection

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