Anna and Nikolay

In 1903 fourteen years old Anna met seventeen years old Nikolay. She wrote poetry since she was 11 and he published in 1902 his first book of poetry.

In 1905 Nikolay first time asked Anna to marry him. However, they married 5 years later, in April of 1910. Before marriage Anna wrote to her friend: “…I believe that it is my fate to be his wife. Whether or not I love him, I do not know, but it seems to me that I do.”

The couple honeymooned in Paris. In September of 1912 their son Lev was born.

Anna Akhmatova, Nikolay Gumilyov and Lev Gumilyov

Anna Akhmatova, Nikolay Gumilyov and Lev Gumilyov

Before marriage Nikolay extensively traveled in Europe and Africa. From Wikipedia: “Gumilyov was fascinated with Africa and travelled there almost each year. He explored, helping development of Ethiopia, … and brought to the Saint Petersburg museum of anthropology and ethnography a large collection of African artifacts.”

At that time Nikolay published two more books of poetry. While in Paris he published a literary journal and there one Anna’s poem was published.

Soon after marriage Nikolay started to rebel against its restrictions. At the end of 1910 he left Anna for a six-month trip to Africa. Anna wrote to a friend that Nikolay “lost his passion” for her.

During Nikolay’s absence Anna became one of founders of the Guild of Poets. Her magnetism and allure attracted many great men. It is known that Anna had affairs with some of them.

Nikolay also was a founder of the Guild of Poets. To illustrate their ideals, he published two collections of poems,The Pearls in 1910 and the Alien Sky in 1912.

In 1912, the Guild of Poets published Anna’s book Evening..

Anna was recognized as “a new and striking young writer”.

“The Rosary …appeared in March 1914 and firmly established her as one of the most popular and sought after poets of the day.” (from Wikipedia).

At that time she “became close friends with Boris Pasternak (who, though married, proposed to her many times).”

In July 1914, Akhmatova wrote “Frightening times are approaching. Soon fresh graves will cover the land”.

On August 1, Germany declared war on Russia.

Nikolay volunteered to serve in an élite cavalry unit. For his bravery during the war he was awarded two St. George crosses.

His book of war poems The Quiver was published in 1916.

In 1917, when Russian Revolution started, Nikolay was in the Russian Expedition Corps in Paris. He returned to Petrograd (Saint Petersburg). There he published several new books of poems.

In August of 1918 Anna and Nikolay divorced.

Soon after divorce Anna married prominent assyriologist and poet Vladimir Shilejko.

She later said “I felt so filthy. I thought it would be like a cleansing, like going to a convent, knowing you are going to lose your freedom.”

There was no cleansing. She began affairs with theatre director Mikhail Zimmerman and composer Arthur Lourie.

Nikolay In 1919 married Anna Nikolaevna Engelhardt, a daughter of a well-known historian.

Three years after Anna and Nikolay’ divorce Nikolay was shot with 61 others for conspiracy against the state.

Anna wrote:

“Terror fingers all things in the dark,
Leads moonlight to the axe.
There’s an ominous knock behind the
wall:
A ghost, a thief or a rat…

The case against Nikolay Gumilyov and all others was completely fabricated and all victims were rehabilitated by Russian authorities in 1992 (71 years after their deaths).

Painting by JF

Painting by JF

 

Anna Akhmatova (introduction)

I thought long and hard how to describe life of a famous woman on this blog so that you could understand this woman, her problems and her decisions, her achievements and her tragedies.

I also want to show how government of the country can take away your freedom, your loved ones and totally control your life if you allow it.

Finally, I want to show that outstanding women did not fight for equality with men. They worked hard and often achieved more than men.

There is no doubts in my mind that live of every person can be a basis for a historical novel with wide specter of events, emotions, problems, choices and their results. 

However, a blog should use short posts as many bloggers follow hundreds of posts daily.

I also believe that in a blog characters and events must be painted with few words.

Now I want to remind you that recently I published the post GET A FEELING OF ANNA AKHMATOVA’S POETRY. If you missed it or forgot it please click on the title of the post and read it.

I want to add here one detail..

Anna Akhmatova’s ancestor was Khan Akhmat. From Wikipedia: “He was killed one night in his tent by a Russian killer-for-hire. Karamzin (Russian historian – JF) tells us that this marked the end of the Mongol yoke on Russia. …It was well known that this Akhmat was a descendant of Genghiz Khan.”

This explains how Anna Gorenko became Anna Akhmatova.

Get a feeling of Anna Akhmatova’s poetry

 

portrait by Petrov-Vodkin

portrait by Petrov-Vodkin

From Wikipedia: ” Anna Andreyevna Gorenko, better known by the pen name Anna Akhmatova, was a Russian modernist poet, one of the most acclaimed writers in the Russian canon.”

She was born in Odessa (Ukraine) in 1889. I was born in the same city in 1934.

Her poetry loved by every Russian speaking person.

Anna’s life was very interesting and tragic. I am going to write about it later.

Below is one of her poems. It translated by Richard McKane.

******************************************************************************************************

I taught myself to live simply and wisely,
to look at the sky and pray to God,
and to wander long before evening
to tire my superfluous worries.

*

When the burdocks rustle in the ravine
and the yellow-red rowanberry cluster droops
I compose happy verses
about life’s decay, decay and beauty.

*

I come back. The fluffy cat
licks my palm, purrs so sweetly
and the fire flares bright
on the saw-mill turret by the lake.

*

Only the cry of a stork landing on the roof
occasionally breaks the silence.
If you knock on my door
I may not even hear.

************************************************************************************

We live many lives

One week after I started this blog I published a post “We live many lives”. Today I decided to copy it here because it is a central post to my understanding of life and pursuit of happiness.

I want to stress that life always requires to make risky choices. When you decide to marry or not to marry it is one of the riskiest choices in your life.

I also want to stress one sentence in the post below:

“a human being is born for happiness but happiness is not
quaranteed, it must be achieved!”
*
*******************************************************************************************************
*
  • ” Man is born to be happy as a bird is born to fly”.

                                                         V. Korolenko

First of all, what is life?

There are different definitions of it.

Here are some of them:

-sequences of physical and mental experiences that make up the existence of an individual

– spiritual existence transcending physical death

– the period from birth to death
– a specific phase of earthly existence. 

It’s easy to see that they have different meaning and some of
them are contradictory.
If life is “the period from birth to death” how can it also be “spiritual existence transcending physical death”?
If life is “a specific phase of earthly existence” it definitely means
that all of us live many lives.
**********************************************************************************************
My memory keeps happy days of childhood in Odessa (Ukraine),
a beautiful port city.
June 22 was my mother’s birthday and has always been a very
joyful  day for my family.
However, on June 22 1941 Germany attacked the USSR and
a terrible war started. My happy first life ended that day.
**********************************************************************************************
I also remember my life in Tashkent (capital of Uzbekistan), It was
so different from my first life. New city, new people, new language.
My father was in the army,  my mother worked in the hospital in
another city and I lived with my grandparents in a tiny room with a clay
floor. There was too little food, we were lacking many necessities
but  my grandparents loved me very much and l loved going to school.
We had wonderful teachers, real professionals who loved their
students..
**********************************************************************************************
Then there was a life in Moscow where I graduated from college, met my
wonderful wife and we started our family.
That life was very difficult too.
We lived in the totalitarian country where people could disappear at any
moment. My wife did not know her father. He was arrested and
executed a month before she was born.  28 years later my mother-in-law
received an official letter that he was innocent.
Three of us lived in a small apartment with three other families.
There was only a big sofa in our room, so my mother-in-law
had to go to sleep to her sister who lived nearby..
My wife was a designer and I worked on my dissertation at that
time and our love, our interesting work, love of our relatives and
friends made us happy.
A year after our marriage our son was born.
He had to sleep in the crib on the wide windowsill as there was no
other place for him in our room.
Our dream was also to have a girl. But first we needed  a better
place for our family,
So we worked very hard for years. Besides working in research I
wrote books. We saved money and realized our dream by buying a  nice
two bedroom apartment. And we were happy to live there with our
two children.(a boy and a girl).
Yes, a human being is born for happiness but happiness is not
quaranteed, it must be achieved!.
********************************************************************************************
Every person must grow mentally and spiritually. And with the growth new
goals come.
We were happy to live in our new apartment. Both of us were successful in
our careers. We lived in the center of Moscow and had many friends,
But gradually we came to understanding that it was our duty to leave the
USSR, to bring our children into the free world and to experience freedom
of a democratic society.
We made a very risky choice to apply for a permission to emigrate.
Nobody knew if the permission would be granted. We had to resign from
our jobs and to keep our children at home.
We were lucky to get a permission to emigrate after waiting for
five months.  In February of 1975 we left the Soviet Union and then
a new cycle of lives in USA started.
******************************************************************************************

My painting #13

Dangerous paintings (part 3)

This is the last part of my review of the article “Dangerous paintings” written (in Russian) by Pauline Larina.

In the part 1 Larina wrote about dangerous paintings in America (SEE HERE) and in the part 2 about such paintings in Russia (HERE).

Naturally, she wrote about dangerous paintings in Europe too.

She states, that a mass-produced print of the painting “The Crying Boy” by Italian painter Bruno Amadio, also known as Giovanni Bragolin burned many houses in the North of England in the 1980s.

According to Pauline, the artist’s son was a model for the painting. However, a boy did not cry and the artist started to burn matches near his face.

Then the boy shouted: “I want you to burn!”. Very soon the boy died from pneumonia and there was a fire in the artist’s house. The artist and almost all his paintings burned in the fire.

I want to add here that my brief research on the internet tells a different but still very interesting story. You can read it HERE.

Pauline Larina also mentions “Water Lilies” by Claude Monet. She says that soon after he finished the painting there was a fire in his studio. Later there were fires in other places where there was this painting: a cabaret on Montmartre, in the house of a French collector of art, in the New York Museum of Modern Art.

Finally, Pauline Larina tells that some paintings carefully studied by experts. Chemists explore the paint and canvas, physics – the impact of sunlight on the image, etc.

Some professionals in Russia came to conclusion that one icon in the Hermitage distributed mighty energy around itself, making a human brain to vibrate at high frequency.

Similar conclusions about energy from paintings came from researchers in the Pinakothek in Munich, in the Louvre, in other galleries.

Larina says that if some painting makes you uncomfortable you should urgently walk away from it.

 

 

Glass art by Alexei Zelya.

You can read about Alexei and see his art HERE. (a text and photos are below “Cameras and Accessories B&H).

Art of Nikolaj Arndt.

Several days ago Nicolas Green shared with the Google Photo Community the painting below made by Nikolaj Arndt.

arndt

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

You can read about Nikolaj Arndt HERE and see videos that show how the painter works on streets, his street art and his graphics.

WE LIVE MANY LIVES.

It is trying time for people who lived both in Ukraine and Russia. I am one of these people. That’s why I decided to reblog this post today.

An artist and a sculptor Georgy Kurasov.

There were always many talented people in Russia.

They appeared despite wars, revolutions, mass repressions, famines, terrible conditions of living.

Georgy Kurasov is one of them. Please read about his life and see his art below.

ART OF KURASOV

Ivan Slavinsky.

One of my friends is a Russian artist and he recently recommended me to look at art of Ivan Slavinsky. He mentioned that now Ivan’s paintings are the most expensive paintings of contemporary Russian artists.

You can read about Ivan Slavinsky and see his paintings HERE.

I like his art and hope that you will like his paintings too.

Nadia and Peter.

Seven years we lived in a communal apartment in a big house near historic Arbat in

Moscow (Russia).

There were six tiny rooms and four families in the apartment.

Nadia and Peter lived in the smallest room.

Nadia was a beautiful young woman. She was a cashier in the food store.

Peter was a tall strong handsome man with very good manners. He was a taxi driver.

Both of them were easy-going young people. Both were always ready to help their neighbours.

We loved this young couple. 

However, one day of each month everything changed.

When Peter and other drivers got their monthly salaries they drank vodka

and came home very late.

Peter always silently entered the apartment and went to his room..

In the middle of the night there was usually a commotion in Nadia and Peter’s room. It seemed like some heavy objects were falling and breaking up.

Then Nadia knocked at our door and asked: “Please let me in! Peter is going to kill me!”

We let her in and closed the door. In couple of minutes Peter usually softly knocked on our door and politely asked: “Please don’t protect Nadia! She is cheating on me! Please let  her out and I’ll kill her!”

I always answered: “Peter, don’t awake our kids! Go to sleep and settle everything with Nadia in the morning!”

Usually in half an hour Peter was asleep and Nadia went to their room.

Next morning Peter usually went to all neighbors in the apartment to apologize. Then Nadia and Peter took all broken furniture and other things out. They usually spend a week looking for a new furniture, TV and dishes.

By the end of the week Nadia usually invited all neighbours to see their new things and proudly said: “You know, Peter is a terrific husband! He loves me very much! He threatened to kill me many times but he never did it!”

Carved Wood Pictures.

I found out about business of the Dubovics only yesterday and spent

some time looking for information in English with good photos.

Please click on the line below to read about this talented family and

to see MANY photos of their carved wood pictures (don’t stop after

you see the first photo as there are others below it).

CARVED WOOD PICTURES.

Painter Edward Pustovoitov.

Some people call him Latvian Salvador Dali. Others call him Russian fantasy and surrealist painter.

Click on the line below to see his paintings on the Tutt’ Art website.

PAINTINGS OF EDWARD PUSTOVOITOV