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Russian Christmas and New Year's  Cards

Russian Christmas and New Year's Cards


Postcards by the Community of St. Eugene (Saint Petersburg) and other publishers

The famous Stockholm publisher of E. Svanström has quite a different approach to picture cards, to which the artist Nikolaev much contributed. He depicted scenes of rural life, played out about snow-covered buildings.

In the traditions of Russian realistic graphics, there was executed Ivan Simakov's (1877-1925) drawing for the card «Carol-singers», showing peasant boys who go with the Christmas star to glorify Christ and to congratulate people on the holiday. Simakov received architectural education, but, mainly, occupied himself with book illustrations.

He made three cards for the Community of St. Eugenia, the largest Russian publisher of postcards. All of them are Cristmas greeting cards issued just in time for the holiday: «For Cristmas Trees» was published in November 1909, «Carol-singers» came out in December 1910, the illustration to the scene of Tatiana's divination on Christmas Eve from Pushkin's «Eugene Oneginraquo; («"What's your name?" she asks him. He looks, and answers: "Agafon."») was released in December 1911.

Girls Divination is the old tradition that falls on Christian Christmastide (public holidays between Christmas and Epiphany). The romantic and picturesque rite has always attracted artists and has repeatedly appeared on postcards.

The same Community of St. Eugenia issued the «Divination» by Fyodor Buchholz (1857-1942) in December 1907. The painting of the unparalleled popularity - «Fortune Telling on Christmastide» by Nikolai Pimonenko, was published twice in 1901 and 1905 (afterwards, the first chromolithographic variant was reproduced at least 12 times). The canvas, which brought success to the young artist, was painted in 1888 and 1898 and now is stored in the Russian Museum in Saint Petersbure. In addition to the Community, in the early 20th century, it was published by the Russian Museum, and Swedish Granberg's Joint-stock Company.

An image of an «urban» and at the same time «children's » Christmas holiday was created for The Community of St. Eugenia by the artist Victor Bobrov. Bobrov, a prolific portrait painter, watercolorist, engraver and master of drawing, worked with Community from 1901 to 1917. He left a gallery of salon female "heads" and vivid pictures of noble girls, against a background of which the drawing «At the Christmas Tree», made in 1905, stands out with its sincerity and simplicity of execution. A year earlier, The Community of St. Eugenia released a series of 10 Christmas children's cards after the originals by Agnes Lindeman (1878 -?) , a watercolour paiter, illustrator and embroideress.


Nikolai Pimonenko (1862-1912). Fortune Telling on Christmastide = La bonne aventure pendant les fêtes de Noël : [postcard] / N. Pimonenko. - Stockholm : Granbergs Aktiebolag, [between 1904 and 1917]. - Coloured autotype ; 13,8х8,9 cm.
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Ivan Simakov (1877-1925).
Carol-singers : open letters / I. Simakov. - [Saint Petersburg : Сommunity of St. Eugenie, 1910]. - Coloured autotype ; 13,9х9,1 cm.
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Nikolaev.
[Peasant Children Decorating the Christmas Tree] : open letters. - [Stockholm] : E. G. S. i. S., [between 1904 and 1917]. - Coloured autotype ; 8,9х13,9 cm.
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Nikolaev.
Merry Christmas : postcard. - [Stockholm] : E. G. S. i. S., [between 1904 and 1912]. - Coloured autotype ; 8,9х13,9 cm.
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Nikolaev.
Merry Christmas : postcard. - [Stockholm] : E. G. S. i. S., [between 1904 and 1913]. - Coloured autotype ; 8,9х13,9 cm.
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Victor Bobrov (1842-1918).
At the Christmas tree : open letters. - [Saint Petersburg : Сommunity of St. Eugenie, 1905]. - Phototype ; 9х14 cm.
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Agnes Lindeman (1878-).
[A Dream] : open letters. - [Saint Petersburg : Сommunity of St. Eugenie, 1904]. – Chromolithograph ; 9х14,2 cm.
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