The ROSTA (Russian State Telegraph Agency) windows are very famous manifestations of Russian Avant-Garde art. They were conceived as stencils and meant to be painted on shop and office windows. This particular one is no.14 in a series. The pictures follow a cartoon-style layout with textual narrative and graphic. There are obvious similarities with the Russian tradition of Lubok.
This piece is from the 1941 edition of the collected works of Mayakovsky. Condition is very good, there is some minor age speckling evident.
Mayakovsky was the giant of the avant-garde period. His poems, plays, graphics and writing were very well-received by the revolutionary intelligentsia. He was in many respects the ‘rock star’ of the immediate post-revolutionary period. He travelled abroad extensively. His personal life was somewhat complicated due to a number of successful and less suitable situations with various women. It is said that a romantic disappointment led to his suicide in 1930. Still, if there is ever a ‘good’ time to die, then for a Russian avant-gardist, 1930 was almost the perfect moment, since the light that had shone so brightly on Soviet culture in the 1920s was getting very dim indeed.