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Artist and wife: exhibition of Natalia Gumilyova-Simonovskaya, wife of Lev Gumilyov, opens in St. Petersburg


An exhibition of Natalia Gumilyova, wife of the historian, ethnologist and anthropologist Lev Gumilyov, has opened in the Anna Akhmatova Museum in St. Petersburg.

This year, Natalia Gumilyova would have gone 100. Saint-Petersburg TV Channel’s Tatiana Bazhenova visited the exhibition. 

There are over 60 works by the artist on display, including pencil sketches, book covers and illustrations.

Zhanna Televitskaya, head of the exhibition and projects department of the Anna Akhmatova Museum, tells: ‘She was a graphic artist, born and educated in Moscow. The graphic illustrations for children’s books you see here was her profession.’

Lev Gumilyov, a scientists and philosopher, the son of two poets, Nikolay Gumilyov and Anna Akhmatova, married Natalia Simonovskaya in 1968. He was in his 50s, and she in her 40s. They were both mature personalities and professionals.

Simonovskaya moved from Moscow to Leningrad, the city she much admired. She often drew Leningrad landscapes.

Svetlana Alexandrova, specialist of the Anna Akhmatova Museum, notes: ‘Despite she was a Moscow artist, she was able to catch the spirit of St. Petersburg, probably, with the help of literature.’

After she got married she dedicated her life to her husband drawing him and helping him in his historic research. Lev Gumilyov would call his wife his co-author. She designed the front pages of his Searching for an Imaginary Kingdom and The Huns in China. 

Photo and video: St. Petersburg TV channel