Dmitry Moor – the founder of Soviet poster art

How did you help the front, 1941.
How did you help the front?, 1941.

Dmitry Moor (Dmitry Stakhievich Orlov; born October 22, 1883 – died October 24, 1946) is an outstanding illustrator, poster artist of the XIX-XX centuries, whose biography is closely connected with the Bolshevik movement. The creativity of the genius Dmitry Moor was imbued with revolutionary romance. The master’s paintings expose the enemies of the Soviet state and the remnants of the capitalist system.

Long live the Third International, 1921.
Long live the Third International, 1921.


Dmitry Moor (Dmitry Stakhievich Orlov) – the son of a specialist in the field of mining engineering – was born on October 22, 1883 in the Rostov region. At the age of ten, he moved with his parents to the capital of Russia. He studied at the Moscow real school, took lessons in painting and drawing from Peter Ivanovich Kelin.

The future artist failed to get a fundamental art education. However, this did not prevent him from working with pre-revolutionary periodicals as a cartoonist illustrator. The master’s cartoons were published in the Izvestia newspaper and the Krasnoarmeets magazine. His favorite graphic technique was black and white ink drawing, emotionally enhanced by harsh, usually red accents. With real enthusiasm, he created posters for silent cinematic films: “Never”, “Quiet”, “Murderer”.

Red gift to the white plan, 1920.
Red gift to the white plan, 1920.

By 1917, Dmitry Moor had already formed an original schedule.

He embraced the revolution with enthusiasm and embarked on the path of an agitator artist, one of the first to design agitation trains. Moore is considered the founder of the Soviet propaganda and political poster. His works, commissioned by the Political Administration of the Revolutionary Military Council and “Windows of the ROSTA satire”, were widely known.

Dealing with international themes, the artist exposed the maneuvers of the imperialists who dreamed of destroying the country of the Soviets. His satire was also directed towards religion. Anti-religious works were repeatedly published in magazines: “Alarm clock”, “Krokodil”, in the newspaper “Pravda”.

Soviet Russia, the besieged camp, all on the defensive !, 1919.
Soviet Russia, the besieged camp, all on the defensive !, 1919.

The painter successfully combined his creative activity with teaching, working in Moscow at different times at VKHUTEMAS, VKHUTEIN, the Institute of Printing and at the Institute named after Vasily Ivanovich Surikov. During the war with Nazi Germany, Moore worked on posters exposing the atrocities of the Nazis.

The last serious works of the master were a series of illustrations for “The Lay of Igor’s Campaign” and the poem “Ruslan and Lyudmila” by Alexander Sergeevich Pushkin. In the works, one can trace the ascent to Russian folk pictures with their popular prints decorativeness. Dmitry Moor passed away on October 24, 1946.

Dmitry Moor, The priests help capital and hinder the worker. Get out of the way !, 1920.
The priests help capital and hinder the worker. Get out of the way !, 1920.

The most famous paintings by Dmitry Moor

The artist’s work has left an indelible mark on the history of the revolutionary poster, in the Soviet book graphics. The most famous paintings by Dmitry Moor include the following:

  1. Death to World Imperialism (1919) is a plot full of mythological symbols. The struggle of the working class, peasants and sailors against the forces of the intervention and the White Guards.
  2. “We Will Not Give Up Petrograd” (1919) is a clear outline image of the fighters for the revolution, in which color shades are thought out as a means of visually revealing the theme and achieving emotionality.
  3. “Soviet turnip” (1920) – a splint poster dedicated to the Red Army, its growing strength. The absence of a complex plot solution and symbolic elements sharpens the satirical intonation of the work.
  4. “Help” (1921) is a black and white lithograph made during the fight against hunger in the Volga region. The deep black background heightens gloomy feelings. The dazzling white figure of an old man with his hands upraised and a broken spikelet are remembered for a long time.
  5. “Are you among the volunteers?” (1920) – the work was created overnight in a difficult time for the Red Army. Volunteers were required to defend the young Soviet republic. The poster called on people to join the ranks of the Red Army.
Dmitry Moor. You volunteered, 1920.
You volunteered, 1920.
Dmitry Moor. Wrangel is still alive, finish him off w
Wrangel is still alive, finish him off w
Dmitry Moor. Worker, be alert !, 1937.
Worker, be alert !, 1937.