Vsevolod Sergeyevich Tarasevich (1919–1998) is an established master of Soviet journalism who created numerous pictures of Leningrad from the very first days of the Great Patriotic War on. In his photographs, one can see a beautiful blooming city at the peak of the White Nights season, and its citizens who do not yet realize what an awful disaster is knocking at their door. The first shellings, evacuation, construction of fortifications by the hands of the civilian population, the deadly winter of 1941–1942 in the city under siege, corpses in the streets, rivers and canals used by the exhausted people as the only source of water… These photographs do not allow for a casual glance. Each picture demands intense emotional work from the viewer.

At the beginning of the war, Tarasevich was in his early twenties. This is something one would never tell from the look at his rather mature work. Even his early photographs are distinguished by the perfect sense of composition and that very humanistic intention which would later make him the main ambassador of the ideas of “thaw” in Soviet photography.

Vsevolod Tarasevich’s photographic heritage is truly massive. A great bulk of negatives is currently in the process of description at the Russian State Film and Photo Archive (Krasnogorsk). The Central State Film and Photo Archive of St. Petersburg holds around 12 thousand negatives of his wartime photographs. Several dozens of original wartime prints by Vsevolod Tarasevich are held in the collection of the State Museum of Political History of Russia.

The digital reproductions of images from these three collections are on display in the exhibition project “Vsevolod Tarasevich. Leningrad Siege. The City and the Front.”

Organizers State Museum and Exhibition Center ROSPHOTO in collaboration with the Russian State Film and Photo Archive (Krasnogorsk), State Museum of Political History (St. Petersburg) and Central State Film and Photo Archive of St. Petersburg