The National Library of Russia The Prints Department
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The golden age of Russian book design in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries is associated with artists belonging to the World of Art group /Mir iskusstva in Russian/:
Yevgeny Lanceray (p. 1, p. 7),
Osip Braz (p. 1),
Leon Bakst (p. 2, p. 7),
Konstantin Somov (p. 2),
Mstislav Dobuzhinsky (p. 3, p. 9),
Ivan Bilibin (p. 3, p. 8),
Alexandre Benois (p. 3),
Elena Kruglikova (p. 4),
Anna Ostroumova-Lebedeva (p. 4),
Boris Kustodiev (p. 5),
Dmitri Mitrokhin (p. 5, p. 8),
Sergei Chekhonin (p.6, p. 10).
A book became a work of art, in which all components, including illustrations, the cover, the title page, headpieces, tail pieces, must correspond to the whole conception by the master. Bookplates and printer's marks also played an important role in the development of book culture at that time. These special forms of graphic art, comprehensively represented in Prints Department Collections, were favoured by artists of the World of Art, who embodied their artistic ideals in them.
By the end of the nineteenth century the traditional heraldic ex libris had fallen into a decline. A new style of designs had to completely separate from heraldry and express ideas in techniques and methods of symbolic or allegorical graphic miniatures.
Ex Libris for D.Filosofov by Yevgeny Lanceray
Among the members of the World of Art group, Yevgeny Lanceray was one of the first to pay attention to the devising of bookplates. His early works show the influence of foreign masters, which reveals itself in the well balanced composition, elaborate vegetal patterns, silhouette images. For instance, English influence obviously affected the bookplate for D.Filosofov. The Ex Libris for the rare book seller V. Klochkov is more original.
Ex Libris for V. Klochkov by Yevgeny Lanceray
Ex Libris for A.Anichkov by Osip Braz
The free associative form of a bookplate interests not only graphic artists, but painters such as Osip Braz. The bookplate for A.Anichkov, created by him, is designed as the nice combination of silhouettes and lines. It is expressive and laconic.


bookplates:    1    2    3    4    5    6
priter's marks:    7    8    9    10

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