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Towards the end of the 19th century- the English art journalist Netta Peacock travelled to Russia where she met Elena Polenova- the artist and younger sister of the famous artist Vasily Polenov. As one of her artistic projects- Elena collected the traditional folk tales she heard from peasants in local villages- and also illustrated them. The two women became great friends and Netta asked if she could translate the tales and publish them in England. Elena gave her twelve watercolour paintings- as well as a cover design painted on an exercise book. By 1916 everything was prepared for publication- but although the original manuscript and a number of engravers proofs have survived- the book- presumably because of War shortages- was never published. A few years ago- thanks to the research of Louise Hardiman- a doctoral student at the University of Cambridge- the original illustrations and stories were rediscovered- still in the possession of Netta Peacocks descendants.Now- almost 100 years later- they are finally being published in a beautifully designed childrens book edited by Hardiman in collaboration with Fontanka and supported by Natalya Polenova- the great-granddaughter of Elena- who is custodian of the Polenovo State Museum Reserve in Russia.... Please click here to ask a question
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