Natalia Gontcharova

(1884 - 1962)



Natalia Goncharova

6 литографии Гончаровой

к стихам Чурилина

6 lithographs by Goncharova

to verses by Churilin

Moscow: Kushnerev i Ko., 1912

220 x 215 mm. 7 pages

Edition: unknown.








Six lithographs and a cover lithograph by Goncharova for Churilin's: Vesna posle smert, published in 1915. The poems by Tikhon Churilin (1892-1944)  are bizarre with real madness in them. The themes are macabre and combine primitivism and decadence. They deal with one’s own funeral, with death, violence and suicide. When the book was printed in 1915, it gained immediate success and the poetry was described as ‘bleak and decayed as the face of a man risen from death’ (Tsvetaeva). In the lithographs that Gontcharova designed before the book was printed, she projected the atmosphere of these poems in only two shades, two non-colours: black and white. She succeeded in depicting the atmosphere of lonely decay by  simple means alone. The snow in plate N 1 is represented by the footsteps of the tiny figure, dressed in black. By reducing the black figure against the trees and by depicting the figure from the back, Gontcharova wrote a visual poem. In plate N 2 the sunbeams are black and part of the branches of the naked trees. Again, a small human being is placed on a low horizon almost indistinguishable from the surroundings, a visual poem depicting  the insignificance of the human being The floral motive on the title page is done in strong black and white fields compressed in a square: a flower of death?



Kovtun 1984, p. 63