Soviet Art

USSR Culture

Soviet graphic artist Ivan Semyonov 1906-1982

Soviet graphic artist Ivan Semyonov 1906-1982

Theory and practice. Caricature by Soviet graphic artist Ivan Semyonov (30 August 1906-1982)

Soviet cartoonist and graphic artist Ivan Semyonov (1906 – 1982) was People’s Artist of the USSR (1974). Also, he was vice-president of the International Association of Literature and Art for Children. Besides, he was a chairman of the section at the Cartoonists of the USSR Union of Artists and a board member of the Union of Artists.
Ivan Maksimovich Semyonov was born into the family of the Don Cossacks in Rostov-on-Don. Even in secondary school, Ivan studied drawing and painting at the workshop of SK Gambartsumov. At the same time, he had to earn as a loader and a seller, as well as newspaper artist. In addition, he worked in amateur theater “Eldorado”.
Meanwhile, in 1925 he even entered the Medical Institute. However, the love for art forced him to leave the institute (after one year of study) and enter the Rostov Art College (1926-1928). And already in 1926, the regional newspaper “Hammer” published his first cartoon “Cooperation classes” (on the miners strike in Britain). Since that time, the newspaper regularly published his works and Semyonov became a full-time employee.

Younger visitors to the ancient Kremlin, 1955

Younger visitors to the ancient Kremlin, 1955

In the fall of 1931 Semyonov moved to Moscow, where he first worked in agricultural art publishing redrawing technical illustrations. Fortunately, already in 1932 the All Union newspaper “Komsomolskaya Pravda” published his drawings, and he became a member of the Moscow Union of Artists. And since 1935 worked in the most famous Soviet caricature magazine “Crocodile”.

Noteworthy, Ivan Semyonov is a veteran of World War II – was a correspondent for the naval newspaper “Red Fleet”. Member of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union since 1941. Thus, he took part in breaking the siege of Leningrad, the liberation of Schlisselburg and other operations of the Northern Fleet. Awarded two orders and medals.

After the war, in 1946 he continued to work in the “Crocodile”. Besides, such newspapers as “Pravda”, “Komsomolskaya Pravda”, “Pioneer truth” and others published his drawings.

Since the late 1940s Semenov worked as an illustrator of books, particularly known for his illustrations for books for children. On his initiative, a children’s magazine “Funny pictures” was created in 1956, in which the artist became the chief editor and has worked in this position until 1972. In 1963 he had a solo exhibition in Moscow.

Soviet graphic artist Ivan Semyonov died in 1982 in Moscow.

Soviet graphic artist Ivan Semyonov