My ongoing survey of great Russian illustrators continues with the bold and colorful works of Tatiana Mavrina,
a 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)
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
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.