Natalia Gontcharova      (1884 - 1962)



Sergei Bobrov

Вертоградари над лозами

Gardeners over the vines

Moskva: Lirika, 1913

180 x 125 mm. 162 pages

Edition: 500


Gardeners over the vines is a collection of poetry and essays. It ends with an essay on book illustrations. Again, in the history of book art the close bond between poets and designers is demonstrated. Printing was a hobby of Bobrov and he always tried to make his publications appealing. He designed the covers of the books that were published by Centrifuge, another group of  Russian futurists. This book, the first book with poetry by Bobrov, was printed not with illustrations by Bobrov but by Gontcharova. Whereas the poetry by Bobrov is rather symbolist and a little out of date, the illustrations by Gontcharova are contemporary and give the book an avant-garde look. In his essay on book illustrations Bobrov praises the lithographs by Gontcharova for being poems in their own right, as visual poetry that would add to but not interpret the text. Gontcharova executed the ten pages of  the book with a lithographic pen on two stones, one for the colour blue and the other for the colour brown. This book was one of the first to introduce colour lithography in Russian printing. The clear two-tone line drawings with their cubist appearance give the book quite an innovative appearance that stands in contrast with the more old-fashioned poetry.


Kilgour 1977, no. 141

Getty 1997, no 92

SPb 2002, p. 193

Hellyer 2006, no. 45

Vzorval 2010, no. 3

Offenbach 2016, no. 5