Vladimir Lebedev’s heritage as a pioneer of Soviet avant-garde books is known and appreciated worldwide. His books Ice cream, Circus, Yesterday and Today (texts by Samuil Marshak) are the unsurpassed masterpieces, and there were dozens more. Another facet of this talent is his activity as the art director at DetGiz publishing house, where he practically created the Leningrad school of children’s books illustration. He formulated and practised his theory of a picture book as an inseparable unity of all elements, a building that gets constructed by the authors of text and image.
The book by Vsevolod Petrov is an overview of Levedev’s way through the intense Revolutionary years, 1930s persecution of left artists, war and post-war return to classicism. It is the only complete study of his life and work.
Vsevolod Petrov was an art historian, writer and museum activist. Contemporary and friend of Russian avant-garde artists, he studied, portrayed and promoted their work. One of his central interests was book illustration. The book contains works and photographs from private collections that have never been published before.