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Paustovsky, Konstantin

The Lake Front. Early illustrations by Tatiana Mavrina.

The Lake Front. Early illustrations by Tatiana Mavrina.

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Children books / Firsts London 2024 / Illustrated books / Russian literature / Tatiana Mavrina
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Paustovsky, Konstantin [The Lake Front]. Ozernii Front.  

Illustrations by Tatiana Mavrina.

[Moscow], Gosudarstvennoe izdatelstvo detskoi literaturi, 1934. 
12mo, 79, [1] pp., ill. 

In original light brown cloth stamped in black and blue. Without dj (as issued). Illustrated endpapers (maps). 
In good condition, light overall wear and soil to boards and spine, owner inscription inside first free endpaper, small ink staining to last pages. 

The only edition with these illustrations. Early illustrations by Tatiana Mavrina. One of 30 000 copies printed. 

This novel by the renowned Soviet writer Konstantin Paustovsky (1892-1968) delves into the events of the Russian Civil War in Karelia in 1919 when the White Army troops, collaborating with Finnish, English, Serbian, and American units, attacked Petrozavodsk from the north. The central character in the novel is Captain Trener, whose prototype was Eduard Pantserzhanskiy, a military leader who fought on riverine flotillas on Lake Onega and the Volga-Caspian front during the Civil War. In 1921-1924, he served as the Commander-in-Chief of the Soviet Naval Forces, but in 1937, he was arrested and executed.
The book was published by the Children’s Literature publishing house and included six illustrations pasted onto some pages. These sensitive illustrations were crafted by Tatiana Lebedeva (1900/1902-1996), better known by her mother's surname, Mavrina, which she used as a pseudonym. She studied under Robert Falk at VKhUTEMAS and was a member of 'Group 13', a collective of graphic artists formed in 1929. Her first illustrated children's book was published in the same year. Like other Russian avant-garde artists during the 1930s, Mavrina turned to illustrating children's books as a way to avoid persecution during Stalin's reign. After World War II, Mavrina developed her distinctive and easily recognizable style, combining the traditions of Russian primitivism with the painterly techniques of the early twentieth century. Her illustrations of Russian folktales have since become classics, and in 1976, Mavrina became the first Russian artist to win the Hans Christian Andersen Award for her illustrations of children's books.
Interesting to note that 'The Lake Front' is the second and final book by Paustovsky that was illustrated by Mavrina. The first one, 'The Fate of Charles Lonsleville', was published just the year before.

OCLC locates only one copy of this edition: in the New York Public Library. 

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