Born in Bogorodsk, Russia, Ivan Konstantinovich Lebedev (Russian: Иван Константинович Лебедев) became better known under his Francized name Jean Lébédeff (1884-1972).  Briefly active as a navigator, he is quickly forced to leave Russia to avoid repression, after expelling the Tsar’s guards who were misbehaving on his ship.  By way of Brussels, where he met up with his brother, he made his way to Paris, where he resided for the rest of his life.  He seems to have had some formal art education in Paris, as well as having been taught some wood cutting techniques by Paul Bornet.  It is likely, however, that Lébédeff mostly developed his own technical skills and style independently.  Over decades he illustrated dozens (some say hundreds) of books.  Most of his work is therefore of smaller scale and found bound in bibliophile editions.  On occasion trial and artist’s proofs do surface.  These are often beautiful impressions of some of the artist’s most successful compositions, and are eminently collectible.

Jean Lebedeff - Hiawatha - Ivan Lebedev - woodcut Sold
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Woodcut printed on chine-volant, affixed to wove paper, 1918.Reference: not in BN-IFF.We were unsurprisingly unable to find any reference to this p...

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