Poslednei boi Chapaeva (The Last Battle of Chapayev) Artist: Vasiliĭ Pshenichnikov (Russian, 1882–1957)
Printer: 21-ia tipografiia OGIZ imeni Ivana Fedorova (Leningrad, active 20th century)


Color offset lithograph


sheet: 16 1/8 × 21 7/8 in. (41 × 55.5 cm)

Credit Line

The Allan Chasanoff, B.A. 1961, Russian Poster Collection, curated with Kevin Begos

Accession Number



20th century


Note: This electronic record was created from historic documentation that does not necessarily reflect the Yale University Art Gallery’s complete or current knowledge about the object. Review and updating of records is ongoing.



Allan Chasanoff Collection, New York, to 2018; Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven, Conn.
Object copyright
Additional information

Object/Work type

didactic art, offset lithographs, political art, posters, propaganda


after an illustration by V. Pshenichnikov (1928)\r\nState Publishing House, Moscow & Leningrad, 1929\r\nVassily Ivanovich Chapaev was born in a poor peasant family. In his childhood he was a shepherd, then a carpenter. He became acquainted with military affairs during the years of the imperialist war, for which he was taken as a common soldier. Chapaev's rebellious spirit could not put up with the despotism of the tsarist army. He took the lead of the dissatisfied soldiers of his regiment, and one day he even struck his officer. In 1917 he was caught among the first ranks of revolutionary soldiers, but in 1918 Chapaev organized partisan units for the struggle with the White Guard from the laborers and peasants of the impoverished Samara province. From these units, augmented and unified with workers of Ivanovo-Voznesensk, forming the 25th Infantry Division, which Chapaev commanded. In the most dangerous places, Chapaevites fought wiht Czecho-Slovaks, with Cossacks, with Kolchak. The name of Chapaev was like a storm for the Whites. After a series of victorious fights on various fronts, Chapaev undertook to put an end to the persistent Ural front. \r\nThe Chapaevites shot down the Cossacks and drove them into the sandy steppe, where a certain death awaited them. But a thousand-strong unit of Cossacks bypassed one of the parts of the division that had been scattered throught the dessert and at dawn on September 5th 1919 they attacked the town of Lbischensk - Chapaev's headquarters. The Red Army soldiers jumped out of the houses and were cut from the shoulder, shot at close range. Chapaev gathered about 60-70 Red Army soldiers and fought with them until the last cartridge. When only a few people were left alive, Chapaev was wounded in the arm and his comrades took him to the Ural River in order to save him. They rushed into the turbulent river. The Cossacks fired at them as they swam, and only when Chapaev's corpse disappeared under the water was the battle over. The division responded harshly to the death of their commander. The Cossacks finally defeated them and drove them to the Caspian Sea. In memory of Vasily Ivanovich the 25th division is still called Chapaev's.

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