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Photo, Print, Drawing What Crackle, What Thunder.

About this Item


  • What Crackle, What Thunder.


  • This World War I propaganda poster by Kazimir Malevich refers to a battle near Lomza (present-day Poland), where despite initial success, the Russians suffered heavy losses. A heroic Russian peasant figure slashing German soldiers with his scythe dominates the view. His traditional dress and lapti (woven bark shoes) seem to epitomize Russia's strength and invincibility. German soldiers are running away or lie dead. Under the picture is a verse by Vladimir Mayakovsky that reads: "What crackle, what thunder there was from the Germans at Lomza!" In the early stages of the war, a number of Russian avant-garde artists, including Malevich, Mayakovsky, and Aristarkh Lentulov, formed the group Segodnyashnii Lubok (Today's lubok), which produced satirical anti-German and anti-Austrian posters and postcards to support the Russian war effort. The name originated from the traditional Russian folk prints, lubok, which combined simple pictures and narratives from popular tales. These artists adapted the style of lubok to their posters, making them readily accessible to the masses and effective as a way of strengthening national morale. The Ukrainian-born Malevich studied art in Kiev and Moscow. He experimented with realism, impressionism, and cubism before turning to what he called "suprematism," which focused on pure geometric forms and color. Malevich explained his theory of suprematism in essays and applied it to visual works, notably the stage sets he created for Mystery Bouffe, a 1918 play by Mayakovsky. Following the Russian Revolution of 1917, Malevich held important administrative and teaching positions, but he came under attack after the Soviet government condemned modernist and abstract art as decadent and bourgeois. His works were largely forgotten for a time, but he is now recognized as one of the major artists of the 20th century.


  • Malevich, Kazimir Severinovich, 1878-1935 Artist.

Created / Published

  • Moscow : Segodnyashnii Lubok, 1914.


  • -  Germany
  • -  Poland
  • -  Russian Federation
  • -  1914
  • -  Avant-garde (Aesthetics)
  • -  Lubok (Narrative art prints)
  • -  Peasants
  • -  Soldiers
  • -  War posters
  • -  World War, 1914-1918


  • -  Title devised, in English, by Library staff.
  • -  Original resource extent: 1 chromolithographic sheet.
  • -  Original resource at: National Library of Russia.
  • -  Content in Russian.
  • -  Description based on data extracted from World Digital Library, which may be extracted from partner institutions.


  • 1 online resource.

Source Collection

  • World War I

Digital Id

Library of Congress Control Number

  • 2021669080

Online Format

  • compressed data
  • image

Additional Metadata Formats

IIIF Presentation Manifest

Rights & Access

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Credit Line: [Original Source citation], World Digital Library

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Cite This Item

Citations are generated automatically from bibliographic data as a convenience, and may not be complete or accurate.

Chicago citation style:

Malevich, Kazimir Severinovich, Artist. What Crackle, What Thunder. Russian Federation Poland Germany, 1914. Moscow: Segodnyashnii Lubok. Photograph.

APA citation style:

Malevich, K. S. (1914) What Crackle, What Thunder. Russian Federation Poland Germany, 1914. Moscow: Segodnyashnii Lubok. [Photograph] Retrieved from the Library of Congress,

MLA citation style:

Malevich, Kazimir Severinovich, Artist. What Crackle, What Thunder. Moscow: Segodnyashnii Lubok. Photograph. Retrieved from the Library of Congress, <>.