Fairy Tale in Reality: Paintings by Natalia Govorukhina


The personages of Natalia Govorukhina's series may appear fictional characters, and the stories unfolding in the paintings may seem to be taken from fairy tales. However, in fact, all artworks are based on real events, and the prototypes for the characters are taken by the artist from life.

The recent paintings of the artist Natalya Govorukhina continue the series of artworks which has long been central to her work. The viewers would easily recognise familiar characters which have become dear to their hearts; in the paintings of Natalya Govorukhina viewers meet a good-natured village peasant and his sweet wife, as well as the cats, who always accompany them.

Sometimes other animals, who live in the village household appear in the paintings. Geese and hens, sheep, cats - the artist endows all these personages with character and individuality, literally paints them with anthropomorphic features. Together with the owners, animals sit at the table, walk, go fishing, contemplate nature and enjoy the quiet village life.

At first glance, the personages of Natalya Govorukhina's artworks may appear to be fictional characters, and the stories unfolding in the paintings may resemble fairy tales. But in fact all paintings are based on real events, and the prototypes for the characters are taken by the artist from life. For Natalya Govorukhina, this fairy tale exists in reality, the artist shares with viewers the stories taken from her life and invites them into this magical world.

The features of Primitivism are definitely present in Natalia Govorukhina's art. The Primitivism is characterised by utopian ideas and a somewhat naive perception of the world. However, a conscious simplification of artistic images and means of expression is the foundation of this style. Primitivism should not be equated to primitive artistic skill. Instead, as a style, the Primitivism is quite complex in its simplicity.


The paintings of Natalia Govorukhina convey peace and warmth, and deep unity with nature, which is filled with a subtle understanding of its harmony. The artist's pieces are technically complex, the compositions are thought out to the smallest detail, and every feature in her painting carries a meaning.

In the course of the artist's narrative, viewers get the chance to learn more about Natalia Govorukhina's peaceful world and its characters. In her series, the artist, a brilliant storyteller, introduces new subjects and personages. For example, in the new paintings wild animals, namely wolves, appear for the first time in the artist's work. However, Natalya Govorukhina sees kindness and the ability to experience warm feelings even in such fearsome inhabitants of the forest. At times, her wolves even seem to be able to experience human emotions. Little blue-eyed wolf cubs are fascinated by the sounds of the flute the man plays, they enjoy their rest in the meadows among flowers with a smile.


Looking at the characters of Natalia Govorukhina, it becomes clear that everyone is able to turn their life into a fairy tale. It is enough just to become a little more receptive to the small joys of life: to learn finding charm in the silence of the night, in the whimsical melody of the flute, to feel the beauty of the predawn sky, the lightness of the first snow, the scent of fresh apples, the warmth of an old village house, the refreshing coolness of a foggy morning... Everyone would find something dear and familiar in Natalya Govorukhina's paintings, something that would become the connecting thread between the reality and fairy tale.

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