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Petr Adol’fovich Otsup

News and portrait photographer

Petr Otsup, USSR News and portrait photographer.


Otsup, Petr was born in 1883 in Petersburg. Son of a clerk.


At the age of 9, apprenticed to a portrait photographer. From 1900-1917, worked for the magazines Niva, Rodina, Iskra, Ogonek, Solntse Rossii and others. In 1901, became famous for his pictures of Leon Tolstoy, Anton Chekhov and Maksim Gorkii in Yalta, published in Niva.

During both the Russo-Japanese war, 1904- OS and World War I, worked as a front-line news photographer. Took pictures during the February Revolution. Was the only photographer at the Smolnyi Institute during the October coup, recording the preparations for the armed revolt and the storming of the Winter Palace.

During the Civil War, photographed the attacks of the 1st Cavalry, the suppression of the Kronstadt revolt and the defeat of the Basmachi fighters by the Red Army in Central Asia. His photoportrait of Lenin in October 1918 was published and distributed all over the world in millions of copies, and used by film companies and television. Left a collection of some 40,000 negatives.

Exhibited widely, both at home and abroad, and received many diplomas and citations for his work.