Friday, November 29, 2013

Friday Art & History Feature - Nadya Rusheva

Apollo and Daphne by Nadya Rusheva
When I was a young girl in Kiev, Ukraine, I remember my older cousin, an artist, leaving me a book of drawings by Nadya Rusheva when she immigrated. I remember being very moved by the drawings, especially because some of them were of scenes from my favorite book, Master and Margarita by M. Bulgakov, but moved even more, and saddened, by Nadya's biography. I was about twelve or thirteen when I encountered this amazing artist - and she made an especially strong impact on me because she was only 17 when she passed away.

Nadya Rusheva
Nadya was born in 1952 in Ulan Bator, where her parents were staying at the time of her birth, although they soon moved back to Russia. She began drawing when she was five, and by the age of seven, her family realized that she had an amazing talent. She once painted 36 illustrations to "The Tale of Tsar Saltan", written by Alexander Pushkin, in one night, as her father was reading the story to her.

Nadya always drew without preparation, and almost never erased. She often worked with a pen to make the drawings. The simplicity of her drawings, the purity of the lines, make a strong impression and endear to the viewer. When Bulgakov's widow, Yelena Bulgakova, saw the drawings of Master and Margarita by Nadya (when the young artist passed away), she said "I wish I knew this amazing and subtle creature."

Nadya died of a brain hemorrhage because of congenital defect. She died in March of 1969 in Moscow. She created 10,000 artworks in the span of her short, but stunning, life.

Asteroid 3516 Rusheva is named after Nadya.

Here's a collection of some of my favorite drawings by this remarkable young woman.

Master and Margarita meeting for the first time, by Nadya Rusheva
Margarita, by Nadya Rusheva

Centaurs by Nadya Rusheva
Women, by Nadya Rusheva

Pushkin (a classical Russian writer and poet) and his wife, by Nadya Rushina
Goncharova, Pushkin's wife, by Nadya Rusheva

Ballerina, by Nadya Rusheva
Little Prince (by Antoine de Saint-Exupery) by Nadya Rusheva

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