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Who made this Sino-Soviet Propaganda Poster?
And, why was it made so early?

enter image description here

By the left armpit, there is a signature:

enter image description here

The Who:

I believe this says "ВИКТОР ИВАНОВ" which google says translates to "VIKTOR IVANOV". Unfortunately, this is a very common name - wikipedia has dozens of people with this name.

I think that it might be Viktor Semyonovich Ivanov as a lot of his previous posters have a similar style. Or maybe it is Viktor Ivanovich Ivanov?

Where did the artist work when this poster was created?

The Why / The When:

Google translate tells me that the bottom: "Да здравствует дружба народов СССР и Китая"
Translates to: "Long live the friendship Peoples of the USSR and China"

Mao didn't proclaim the PRC until October 1949, and the Sino-Soviet Friendship treaty wasn't signed until Feburary 14, 1950. The date on the poster is 1949. One would assume that this poster would not be produced until after the treaty had been signed. Perhaps it was ordered prior to the meetings with Mao? What information is available about the production of this, and other early Sino-Soviet friendship propaganda?



Extra Info:

SE user @TonyK did some legwork to provide translation for the text on the poster. I hope it will help someone dig up the answer. TonyK says:

The Cyrillic text reads:

Da zdravstvuyet druzhba narodov SSSR i Kitaya!

meaning "Long live the friendship of the peoples of the USSR and China!"

The Chinese text reads:

中蘇两國人民友誼萬歳 !

In pinyin:

Zhōng-sū liǎng guó rénmín yǒuyì wànsuì!

or "Long live the friendship between the two nations China and the Soviet Union!"

Characters 蘇, 國, 誼, 萬, and 歳 are traditional; only character 两 is simplified. (The remaining four characters were not changed in the Great Simplification.)

Edit 2016 December

I had the opportunity to read through Iconography of Power by Vitoria Bonnell. In it, she describes how the purposes of Soviet posters changed from 1917 to 1953; very fascinating. One of her primary sources for Soviet posters was the Russian State Library, which has a collection of over 400,000 posters.

Perhaps someone with basic Russian reading skills can find it in the online catalog? Here's a search that I did in the catalog; but I can't read!

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    The poster isn't necessarily related to the 1950 treaty; USSR quickly recognised the new PRC state that was established on October 1, 1949; the poster could just as easily have been made for that occasion. Prior to that, USSR support of CCP was no secret. – congusbongus Oct 19 '16 at 3:31
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    The Chinese writing style is interesting..."simplified Chinese" would appear although mine is more than a little rusty now I can certainly make out many of the characters. – user14394 Oct 19 '16 at 15:56
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    @user14394 Official simplification was in 1956, about when Hanyu Pinyin appeared. There was some simplification before that though. – axsvl77 Oct 19 '16 at 22:16
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    "A friendship and cooperation treaty" was very typical for Soviets. As for the authorship, it Victor Semionovich. I know that for sure, but cannot give any documental proof, alas. – user58697 Oct 20 '16 at 0:44
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    Again I am not 100% certain. Members of the Union of Artists (члены Союза Художников), as well as members of other creative Unions, didn't have to work for an institution. A lucky exemption from anti-parasitism law. I presume he was a freelance artist. – user58697 Oct 20 '16 at 2:24
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Soviet Union supported the Chinese Communist Party during the Chinese Civil War, so since the Mao Zedong's rise to power in 1949 to Sino-Soviet split in the 1960s Sino-soveit relations were quite good. There is no surprise that the Soviet propaganda supported Chinese communist regime and considered them as the closest ally in 1949.

Viktor Semyonovich Ivanov was a Soviet artist who painted propaganda posters. He started painting his posters at the end of the 1930s. It seems that he was a freelance artist in 1949. There were some posters on Sino-Soviet relations among his works. Unfortunately I did not manage to find the poster you have posted in your question neither on some online catalogs of his works nor on Russian State Library's catalog. But here I found the poster which is similar to it. It was painted in 1954. The artist depicted two men in the same style and left the same signature in the bottom right corner.

"We are strengthening friendship for the peace and happiness" by Viktor Ivanov

  • What makes you think he was free lance in 1949? – axsvl77 Jan 3 '17 at 11:47
  • @axsvl77 I have read his biography on some Russian resources. Viktor Ivanov left the project "TASS Windows" in 1943, and I found no mention about his further permanent work in any organization. But he often released his posters, participated in many exhibitions, and was awarded by Soviet government in 1946 and 1949. – Alexander Jan 3 '17 at 20:28
  • Thanks. What Russian resource? – axsvl77 Jan 3 '17 at 20:50
  • @axsvl77 The resource about Russian and Soviet art in 20th century and Russian Wikipedia are some of the resources I explored. – Alexander Jan 4 '17 at 6:40
  • Chinese on the poster reads: Let us strengthen our friendship for the sake of peace and prosperity (or fortune, good luck) - is it just me, or does this sound a bit forced/using each other for advantages? Usually propaganda posters emphasize something like the actual human relationships or emotions. – AgeOfTheGeek May 25 '17 at 12:35
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The poster was actually made in the 1930s to celebrate Soviet-Mongolian friendship, and re-done for USSR-China. I can't seem to send an image here, but will send you a copy if you give me an email address

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    FYI while composing an answer, you can press ctrl+G to open the interface for uploading an image. – Semaphore Jun 29 '18 at 8:50
  • I think now that you have an upvote, you should have enough points. Lemme see it! – axsvl77 Jun 29 '18 at 12:22

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