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электронный журнал "Новые исследования Тувы"

An Exhibition of Nadia Rusheva’s Drawings Opens in Crimea

On January 31, at 11:00 am, in the Museum of A. Grin, an exhibition of drawings of the remarkable young artist from Moscow, Nadia Rusheva, will be opened. Art historians called her a girl-genius, “the greatest of the young, and the youngest of the great”. Nadia’s life ended abruptly at the age of 17 years. Her parents donated her drawings to the museum dedicated to the works of A.Grin.

The phenomenon of Nadia Rusheva astonished everybody who encountered her work. The talented girl first started to draw at the age of 5 years, when she drew pictures of stories and legends that were read to her by her father.

From that time, she made it a habit to always listen to reading, or to read, with a pencil in her hand. Her amazingly precise, exact, beautiful, emotional drawings showed up lightly, with a single touch, without any false moves or corrections.

Nadia never used an eraser. “I can see them beforehands...They show up on the paper like watermarks, and all that is left for me is to outline them”, explained the girl. As the senior curator of the museum of A. Grin, Lyudmila Varlamova, explained, Nadia’s parents decided not to send their daughter to art school, to preserve the pristine quality of her talent.

The young, self-taught artist simply created her own flawless beautiful world on paper as she felt it, only rarely resorting to consultations.

Even though nobody taught Nadia to draw, she grew up in a family of artists. Her father, Nikolay Konstantinovich, was a theatre artist, and her mother, Natalia Daidalovna, was one of the first Tuvan ballerinas, and worked as a ballet master.

Nadia Rusheva was born on January 31, 1952. This year, she would have turned 57. But she was fated to never become an adult. On the morning of March 6, 1969, she died of a brain hemorrhage as she was preparing to go to school.

Having lived just slightly over 17 years, Nadia left behind an immense spiritual treasure – more than 10,000 drawings. The actual number will never be counted - a significant number was scattered in letters, hundreds of drawings were given away by the young artist to her friends and acquaintances, and a large number of the works never returned from the first exhibitions for various reasons.

Creating her compositions, especially with pen and Indian ink, Nadia became almost perfect in the technique of linear graphics. With a pen in hand, she gave visual reality to the works of more than 50 authors, among whom were Shakespeare, Robles, Byron, Dickens, Hugo, Mark Twain, Gogol, Lermontov, Lev Tolstoy, Bulgakov, and her beloved Pushkin.

Her drawings to Pushkin’s works were reminiscent of the manner of drawing of Pushkin himself. Noting that, the famous “Pushkinist” A. Gessen asked the young artist to illustrate his book “The Life of the Poet”. In this way, immense numbers of drawings dedicated to Pushkin were generated.

The last of Nadia Rusheva’s drawings were 200 graphic works to Bulgakov’s novel “Master and Margarita”. Besides drawings to books, Nadia put together masses of stories and tales of her own creation, work-ups of ballets that were not produced yet at that time, imaginary scenes. Among Nadia’s drawings there were several depicting a ballet “Anna Karenina”, but at that time there was no ballet like that – it was a fruit of her imagination.

Only after the young artist’s death was this ballet produced in reality, and the main role was played by Maya Plisetskaya.

Nadia’s drawing “Apollon and Daphne” was included in a drawing manual textbook in Germany, together with drawings of the classical masters.

Nadia got to know Crimea, having spent the summer two years before her death in Artyek (international Young Pioneer camp).

With her parents, she also visited Feodosia – she touched the places of Grin.

After Nadia’s death, in 1970, her parents gave the museum more than 20 of her drawings motivated by Grin’s works. Especially many were the drawings dedicated to the novel “Running on the waves”, it appears that this was one of Nadia’s favorites.

In the photograph, there is 12 –year-old Nadia Rusheva on the shore of Feodosia bay. In this photo, the girl called herself Assol.

Novosti Kryma (News of the Crimea), translated by Heda Jindrak
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