Natan Altman

(1889 - 1970)






Natan Altman

Ленин, рисунки

Lenin, drawings

Peterburg: Izo-Narkompros, 1921

426 x 320 mm. Ten plates

Edition: 100. Copy nr. 38/100.














Special edition


With the help of Lunacharskii, the commissar of Enlightenment, Nathan Altman obtained Leninís consent to do his portrait. The head of the newly founded Soviet Union was under great pressure from the turmoil of the aftermath of the revolution and the ongoing civil war. He was not eager to spend any time on artistic purposes and had turned down requests by other artists. But Altman got  permission to observe Lenin during his daily work for a period of 6 weeks in April and May 1920. During his stay at the Moscow Kremlin he made some 20 portrait studies that show Lenin in a normal day-to-day role. From these preparatory drawings, 9 portraits were selected to be published. Altmanís Lenin was published in 1921 by the Petrograd Department of Fine Arts. It was printed by the 15th State Publishing House, the former Golike and Vilborg publishing company, which had enough paper of good quality left to make, next to a regular edition of 5,000 copies, as well as a limited edition of 100 copies in a large format. For both versions, the nine portraits were printed from the same plates. In the limited edition the portraits were printed on special paper and then mounted on the pages. The cover of both books was a lithographed reproduction of a design that Altman had executed in Indian ink and watercolour.



Arts et Metiers Grafiques 30 (1932), p.34

Leningrad 1977, no. 7

Etkind 1984, p. 65

German 1985, nr. 267-271

Berlin: Staatliche Museen, 1987, pp. 2-3

Leningrad 1989, nr. 4

Getty 1997, nr. 11

Hellyer 2006, nr. 6