Russian revolutionary plate

A bigger picture

This plate presents a supremely powerful vision of the aspirations and ideals of the new regime at the beginning of what was believed to be a transformational era in Russian history. It is also part of a tradition of trying to exert political influence through the use of symbols, images and words. In some cases these attempts are on the part of the state and political parties or other organisations; in others it is individuals who try to persuade and influence people.

The princes in the Tower


This etching from 1790 shows the murder of the princes in the Tower from Shakespeare’s Richard III. The portrayal of Richard as an evil monster derives originally from the anti-Plantagenet propaganda of the Tudors.

See more See more: http://www.britishmuseum.org/research/collection_online/collection_object_details.aspx?assetId=819859&objectId=3144788&partId=1

British print


Before broadcasting and the internet, the cartoon, the handbill and later the poster were the most effective means of spreading propaganda. This satirical print suggests that Americans loyal to the British king were being forced to sign allegiance to the revolutionary cause under threat of violence.

See more See more: http://www.britishmuseum.org/research/collection_online/collection_object_details/collection_image_gallery.aspx?assetId=951168&objectId=3336225&partId=1

French propaganda


A propaganda sheet of the French Republic; 1792.

See more See more: http://www.britishmuseum.org/research/collection_online/collection_object_details.aspx?objectId=1395865&partId=1&searchText=propaganda&images=true&page=1

The sinking of the Lusitania


The original of this German art medal was designed to satirise Cunard’s willingness to expose innocent civilians to danger by allowing them to sail on the Lusitania. Tens of thousands of replicas were made and distributed by the British and Americans, among others, to demonstrate German inhumanity.

See more See more: http://www.britishmuseum.org/research/collection_online/collection_object_details.aspx?objectId=3030143&partId=1&searchText=lusitania&images=true&page=1

Chinese papercut


On 1 October 1947, the second great communist state was founded in China. Until the mid-1960s, Russia and China maintained close ties, and the heroes of the Russian Revolution were also revered in China. This paper-cut celebrates the great figures of the communist revolution.

See more See more: http://www.britishmuseum.org/research/collection_online/collection_object_details.aspx?assetId=1258409&objectId=1505476&partId=1
Next section: Teaching ideas

Russian revolutionary plate