Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Tatiana Mavrina

My ongoing survey of great Russian illustrators continues with the bold and colorful works of Tatiana Mavrina, 
prolific artist who painted, worked in theatre and animation, and illustrated over 200 books. 
Mavrina was born in Nizhny Novgorod in 1902, and studied at the Higher State Art and Craft Institute 
Vkhutemas from 1921 to 1929. She became a member of the Thirteen movement, but began to develop
 a vivid, free and highly decorative personal style which combined influences from Lubok
 and other traditional forms of Russian folk art with the French painting tradition. 

Forty White-sided, 1957

My grandmother goat, 1962

Many of Mavrina's children's books illustrate Russian folk tales and Aleksandr Pushkin's
 fairy tales such as The Tale of the Dead Princess and the Seven Heroes (1949) 
Ruslan and Ludmila (1960), There Stands (1961) and The Tale of the Golden Cockerel

Fabulous Beasts, 1965

Mavrina collected old icons and folk art. She didn't address her illustrations specifically  to children,
 and her books were often published as gift editions. In her original picture books, such as Fabulous Beasts (1965)
 and Fairy-Tale ABC (1969), the text plays a secondary role to the humorous and brightly colored pictures.  

  Gingerbread baked into the clutches of a cat is not given, 1967
(dear Russian readers, please help me with a better translation)

Fairytale Alphabet, 1969

Lukomorie, 1970

Birds at Sea, 1976

In 1976 Mavrina became the only Soviet artist to be awarded the Andersen Prize 
for her contribution to the illustration of children’s books.

SInce Mavrina died in 1996, the public's interest in her work has been steadily increasing.
 One can find her works in major Russian museums including the Tretyakov Gallery, the State Russian Museum,
and the State Museum of Fine Arts. And if you are in Moscow, you can visit her exhibition  
at Petrosvky Passage which runs until June 3rd.


  1. Oh, I love her colorful, bold style. Fabulous Beasts is my favorite in your collection here. I'm so glad the public is becoming more interested in her.

  2. Hi Laura. I'll try to translate it though my English isn't best.
    Пряники пекутся, коту в лапы не даются -
    Ginger cookies are baked and don't allow a cat to catch them.

  3. Thank you for sharing such wonderful, wonderful work! I am facing a very trying day and seeing such bold, colorful and joyful work has refreshed my tired and sad soul. Plus, having at my fingertips, a translation from one of your readers just gladdens my heart to feel I can connect with the world, while sitting at my computer, in my little, coastal Maine town.
    I just adore what you share-please adopt me, wink!



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