Date: c. 1921 - 26
Size: image is 6 x 9.5, sheet measures 9 x 11.5 inches
Artist: Mikhail Vrubel
This sheet features Mikhail Vrubel's painting of Nadezhda Zabela-Vrubel as the Swan Princess in the 1900 production of The Tale of Tsar Saltan. Nadezhda (1868-1913) was a Ukrainian-Russian opera singer described as a lyrical (coloratura) soprano, with a particularly high tessitura. In 1896 she married the Russian Symbolist artist Mikhail Vrubel who created a series of her portraits - including this one!
Jar-Ptitza [Жаръ-Птица; Fire-Bird] was a Russian emigrant literary magazine published in Berlin between August 1921 and January 1926. By the end of its run, a total of fourteen issues had been printed. Depending on the type of illustration, three different kinds of paper were used, varying from a glossy finish to a more porous paper. The magazine ran articles on artists' biographies, poems and prose, and ballet and theatre shows, publishing art produced by Russian painters, sculptors, writers, and photographers. Their target audience being Russian emigrants from the 1918 November Revolution, texts and captions were written in Russian. However, partial translations in German, English, and French resulted once they began to distribute in New York, London, and Paris. Editor and publisher: A.E. Kogan.
Monoskop explains the reason for creating a Russian magazine in Germany: "In early 1920s, large Russian community had settled in Germany. Hyperinflation turned the country into the publishers’ paradise, as printing was much cheaper there than in any other European country. This caused real boom of Russian books: about 50 Russian publishing houses worked in Berlin only." (monoskop.org)