Winter in July – Dr Zhivago and Pasternak’s poems, 1968


Pen and ink illustrations by Bill Greer for Boris Pasternak’s poems from Doctor Zhivago. They were issued as a single volume in 1969, and followed David Lean’s film from the year before with Julie Christie and Omar Sharif. The stills are taken from Lean’s film.

I remember Doctor Zhivago being screened on a Sunday evening sometime in the late 1970s. Even in black and white the scenes of the palace in winter made a lasting impression.

A favourite couple of words for me are ‘russian snow’. They don’t come up very often, but when they do, this is what I see – with all the melancholy of the closing scenes. Thank you, Mr Lean…

When putting this post together, I found some of the film stills on a blog called The Museum of Dying Giants, by an artist called Gwyneth Scally. If you like the atmosphere of this post, have a look here. She credits David Lean’s film as an inspiration.