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HomeContentsThemes > Russian Revolution (1917)


243.01   Russian Revolution and the aftermath (1917): Introduction
243.02   Photographers of the Russian Revolution (1917)
This theme includes example sections and will be revised and added to as we proceed. Suggestions for additions, improvements and the correction of factual errors are always appreciated. 
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243.01   War >  Russian Revolution and the aftermath (1917): Introduction 
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Tzarist Russia had been in a state of internal unrest since the Russian Revolution in 1905. The pressures that were reaching unstoppable levels were formented by the defeat of the Russian forces by the Japanese in the Russo-Japanese War (1904-1905) but it was also the hardships brought on by the First World War (1914-1918) that pushed it over the edge.
In February 1917 there was a Revolution[1] that forced Tzar Nicholas II to abdicate. The forces that led the revolution were far from in agreement about the direction the country should go and it was in November 1917 that the Bolsheviks took power in a further push. The October Revolution of 1917 was largely organized from the Smolny Institute in Petrograd (now St. Peterburg) and Jakob Steinberg[2] was there to photograph the daily activities amidst the growing chaos.
Following the overthrow of the Tzar the country was divided and the outcome uncertain as the White Russians backed from outside countries with expeditionary forces sought to bring about a government they could live with. To prevent a return of the Tzar to power the Bolsheviks murdered him, his wife Alexandrina and their children at Yekaterinburg on 17 July 1918. As Russia has accepted its history on 17 July 1998 the last Russian Emperor Nicholas II and his family were reburied in St. Catherine Chapel (Ekaterininsky Predel) of Peter and Paul Cathedral in St. Petersburg. 
243.02   War >  Photographers of the Russian Revolution (1917) 
Photographers of the Russian Revolution:
  • Jakob Steinberg [Jakov Vladimirovich Shteinberg] (1880-1942)
  • Pyotr Otsup [Pyotr Adolfovich Otsup] (1883-1963)
  • Photographs from the Bulla photographic agency, which was founded by Karl Bulla[3] and was being run by his son Victor Bulla,[4] were used in a German illustrated magazine.[5]
The increasing opening of Russian and Eastern European archives will no doubt add considerably to the limited amount of visual material available. 

  1. Λ Rex A. Wade, 2005, The Russian Revolution, 1917, (Cambridge University Press); Robert Service, 2005, A history of modern Russia from Nicholas II to Vladimir Putin, (Harvard University Press)
    For a first hand account - John Reed, 1919, Ten Days that Shook the World, (BONI & Liveright, Inc. for International Publishers), [First edition] 
  2. Λ Jakob Steinberg [Jakov Vladimirovich Shteinberg] (1880-1942) 
  3. Λ Karl Bulla had photographed the Russian aristocracy and the elite of society before the Russian Revolution and was therefore suspect to the Bolsheviks. He emigrated to Estonia and left the photographic business with his sons. 
  4. Λ Also known as Viktor Karlovich Bulla. 
  5. Λ Mary Warner Marien, 2006, Photography: A Cultural History, (Laurence King Publishing), p. 229


HomeContents > Further research

General reading 
Lewinski, Jorge, 1978, The Camera at War, A History of War Photography, (New York: Simon & Schuster) [Δ
Livingston, Jane, 1985, The Indelible Image, Photographs of War, (New York: Harry Abrams) [Δ
Moynahan, Brian, 1994, The Russian Century: A Photographic History of Russia's 100 Years, (Random House) isbn-10: 0679420754 isbn-13: 978-0679420750 [Δ
If you feel this list is missing a significant book or article please let me know - Alan - 

HomeContentsPhotographers > Photographers worth investigating

Victor Bulla  (1883-1938) • Pyotr Otsup  (1883-1963) • Jakob Steinburg  (1880-1942)
HomeThemesWar > Russian Revolution (1917) 
A wider gazeRelated topics 
Russia - Russian Federation 

HomeVisual indexes > Russian Revolution (1917)

Please submit suggestions for Visual Indexes to enhance this theme.
Alan -

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Refreshed: 23 August 2014, 06:28
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