Mikhail Nesterov became famous for writing many paintings, valuable for the Russian culture, but the 1907 painting “Natasha on the Garden Bench” is special for the author. Already from the title of the work it becomes clear that the author feels for the girl a special sympathy and tender feelings. And indeed it is, because it is a portrait of Natalia Mikhaylovna Nesterova, the daughter of the artist.
Natasha is depicted in a picture in a light blue summer dress that hangs a little on the girl because of her childish leanness, her left shoulder is slightly bare, she sits on a garden bench in a calm, somewhere playful pose in half a turn and reads a book, having inclined a head and having lowered the not curly hair.
Next to the girl are summer flowers, which she apparently collected, and then sat down to rest after a summer walk. She carefully interested her book and at the same time listens to the sounds of nature. Although the girl is very young, but she has a strong life force, a storm of energy. Yellow flowers that lie on the bench near the girl, testifies to her delicate tender nature and still in childhood.
It is noticeable that Nesterov responsibly approached the writing of a portrait of his daughter; it seems that the author was very much afraid of spoiling the picture or failing it, the outlines of the girl were very carefully executed. Natasha symbolizes youth, kindness and childlike innocence, and nature seems to reach out to the girl, finding its most attractive color, man and nature spin in an endless dance of life.
It’s not for nothing that some poets composed verses to convey verbal emotions from what they saw, because work is a living source of inspiration and it’s impossible to speak simple words like the beautiful “Natasha on the garden bench”, this should be done only in the language of love and poetry.