The Art of Nathalie Parain


Born in Kiev, the artist Nathalie Parain (b. Tchelpanova) studied in Moscow at the Stroganov Institute under Piotr Konchalovsky and joined the Vkhutemas, acronym for Vysshie khudozhestvenno-tekhnicheskie masterskie [Higher state artistic and technical studios], created in 1920 and animated by personalities such as Rodchenko or Malevich. Their profound formal innovation strongly marked the young woman whose work was part of the aesthetics of the constructivist avant-garde from the very beginning. In 1926, she married the philosopher, novelist, playwright, political essayist, and translator Brice Parain (1897-1971), cultural attaché of the French Embassy and future secretary to Gaston Gallimard. The couple left Russia and settled in Paris where it was close to the circles of Russian emigré artists and intellectuals, including Alexandra Exter and the Goncharova-Larionov couple. Nathalie’s career as an illustrator began with the publication of the children’s book “Mon Chat” by Gallimard in 1930 with a text by André Beucler. She then met the publisher and pedagogue Paul Faucher who offered her to illustrate “Les albums du Père Castor”. She became the star illustrator of the series. She also illustrated about twenty volumes for Gallimard. Until the end of her life, she devoted herself to painting and lithography. Her first exhibition on Russian territory was held in Moscow in October 1993. The artist has had an enduring influence on children’s book illustration.


Featured item:

Nathalie Parain – Au bazar [At the general store] – Original artwork signed.

Paris, The Artist’s Studio, 1935.

Original gouache on paper (174 x 157 mm), signed with monogram NP in lower right corner, framed.

Preparatory composition for the book « Faites votre marché » published by Flammarion in Paris in 1935,  in the famous “Père Castor” series.

Lovely illustration in vivid colours showing the fantastic talent of the artist.


Price: 1.500,00 euros

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