Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Ephemera for Lunch #28:
Goats hiking in the forest

Today's Soviet-era postcard was published in 1967, the year of that country's Soyuz 1 manned spaceflight.

The postcard has never been used, and there is very little text or information on the back. The artist is Y.A. Vasnetsov (Ю. А. Васнецов) and the artwork, simply titled "Goat," was created in 1956.

His full name was Yuri Vasnetsov (1900-1973) and I found a couple of excellent websites with biographical information and many fine examples of his work.

In a 2010 post titled "The Russian Ark of Yuri Vasnetsov" on Laura Ottina's Animalarium blog, she writes:

"[E]arly books brought him a reputation as one of Russia's leading artists of children's books. In this period he also created lithographies using the same fairy tale themes as the illustrations. Due to the war, in 1941 Vasnetsov was evacuated to Perm, where he worked in the puppet theater, then in 1943-45 he moved to Zagorsk where he became chief designer at the Institute of toys. ... In the postwar years Vasnetsov continued to be very active as a book illustrator, working on children's stories, fairy tales and folklore collections."

And here's a biographical excerpt from

"He preferred to work on a fairy tale, folklore, folk rhymes. His best books live in two dimensions of real and fantastic, the most mundane things become in them a fabulous character, the most improbable events become easily acceptable. 'Raven sits on the oak and plays the pipe' – requires a special gift to this verbal way to make visible and, moreover, as compelling as in a fairy tale. ... In his drawings connected innocence and wisdom, trust in the world of simple things, simple human feelings and actions, where good – is really good, and never turns evil."

Here's a link to another Vasnetsov goat illustration. And here's one more.

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