Russian Christmas and New Year's Cards
A. Krasovsky's Cards for the Rassvet Publishing House (Kiev)
Series of greeting postcards, including Christmas cards, were released by such a big publisher like the Kiev Rassvet printing house. In 1915, 8 drawings were executed by Alexandr Krasovsky for cards published by the printing house of S.V. Kulzhenko. The drawngs imitate techniques of Far Eastern art and present a strange contrast with their topics (most of them related to the events of the festival: an Angel in Heaven, the Annunciation to the Shepherds, the Procession of the Magi, the Adoration of the Child). The artist's unusual style was not only due to an attempt to attract attention of the public. It was also inspired by the ongoing First World War: at that time, China maintained neutrality, while Japan was an ally of Russia.
There is very little known about the author of these postcards – a graphic artist and a book printer. He lived in Kiev and studied there in the School of Printing Art between 1907 and 1910. The school was established in 1903 for apprentices of the printers and accepted persons of either sex, of either class, at the age of 12 to 16 years. The course included both technical and general subjects as well as practical training. One of the school founders was Stefan Kulzhenko, the owner of a well-known Kiev printing house. Much attention to this educational workshop was paid by his son Vasily who inherited the «printing house of S.V. Kulzhenko», in which Krasovsky served as a photographer when graduating the School of Printing. In 1910-1912, he was already a practice teacher in the same school. First he taught engraving and zincography, then photography.
Krasovsky executed by hand a copy of the catalogue of the exhibition of students' works, presented to Emperor Nicholas II in 1911 during his visit to Kiev. In 1914-1915, Krasovsky drew Christmas and Easter greetings cards and military cards for the Rassvet publishing house. In 1915, along with other artists, he illustrated the literary miscellany «Arion» and V.Z. Zavitnevich's Book «Vladimir the Red Sun» (in latter he drew only initials). In 1919, he carried out a font cover for the publication of V.M. Bazilevich's report «Izvet startsa Raphaela (False Accusattion of the Spiritual Father Raphael): about the Kiev state of public opinion from the time of Bohdan Khmelnytsky». Krasovsky is also considered to design Ukraine banknotes issued in 1918.