Russian Impressions by Natalia Bogdanova
‘Russian Impressions’ is a collection of 50 paintings by Natalia Bogdanova, a Russian artist from Moscow which was recently inaugurated at Cavalieri Hotel.
A romantic and dreamy idealism, a nostalgic and lingering love for a past long lost in a disciplined and efficient technological world, a fascination with nature’s wonders, a sensitivity for mood and atmosphere, a love for plants and flowers and an overwhelming sweet melancholy, a wistful sentiment for hard, cold winters, rainy, wet days, foggy and misty mornings are the first impressions Natalia Bogdanova expresses in her work.
A keen obsession about yacht races particularly those organized in Malta with Marasamxett as the starting or finish point. Her academic background is softened by a placidity of mood, by gentle reflection and deep meditation of nature around her. The end result is a pleasant feeling, a touch of tranquillity and serenity, a lyrical and poetic approach the result of internal peace, a primordial silence away from the maddening crowd.
Her love of the Impressionists especially of Monet, and Degas is explicit and in their style captures again the social realism of the 1870’s with its love of hedonistic entertainment on street and boulevard and their wonder in front of nature’s mystery and spectacle and a great presentiment that its loss is inevitable and imminent in an industrial environment.
‘Champ Elysee at Night’ so impressionistic suggests the frivolity of night entertainment, a laid-back atmosphere as enjoyed by the newly- liberated bourgeois Parisians in encroaching bohemian circumstances. The diminutive figures in the manner of L. S. Lowry restrict the importance of the human element in relation to the street environment without mitigating the festive atmosphere. One forgets for a moment that at the time of the Impressionists the lanterns were gas lit.
The most effective as to mood are the works depicting rainy or inclement weather. ‘In the Evening’, with figures under umbrellas scurrying in rainy bleak and grey weather yet saturated in brilliant light is explicitly Impressionistic; ‘Impression’ a fragile tree with bare branches set against a sullen sky in a vast stretch of water or lake expresses solitude or even loneliness yet the spirituality of the scene: a gaseous light that tries to filter through the dense clouds is quite redeeming.
‘Wonderful is Spring, Paris’ with a steel bridge spanning the Seine. The light glimmers and dances on the river water running in rippled currents in the manner of a painting of Monet’s ‘lilies’ and a suffused misty urban skyline full of mystery and magic in the delicate manner of a Pissarro. This work is perhaps the most delicate and lyrical of all the collection.
A large section is dedicated to yachts and yachting, to regattas and winners. Her love of boats is contagious and one can almost smell the sea spray. Probably she has studied the depiction of sea in the Russian classical tradition made famous by philatelic designers illustrating the subject on large stamps. Her grasp of the ocean waves is impressive as she changes from ripples, to choppy waters and from crested to rolling waves with a certain effortless.
The artist loves travelling and therefore one can observe the subtle difference in the weather, in atmospherics, in air and light in landscapes in Russia around Moscow, France: Paris and Rouen, Veneice and Malta. Her flowers botanically correct are organically alive, fresh, swinging in the Spring breeze.
A fine painter of delicate and gentle strain who lives and has studied in Moscow who loves our Island and has realized her dream of painting Malta and exhibited in Cavalieri Hotel, St. Julians surrounded by the blue sea that she loves so much.
The exhibition is open to the public between until October 21, 2013.