April 2, 2011.
Natalia Tsarkova is one of the few women who managed to enter the
prestigious Russian Academy of Arts in Moscow. Until ten years ago, she
only painted for the upper class.
One day she came to Rome planning to stay only three months and has never left Rome since. The reason for this extension was John Paul II, who, she says, changed her life.Natalia Tsarkova
Painter"Personally, John Paul II has changed my life when I met him during my three month stay. In him I found something special. I think he spoke by Divine Providence. I am very grateful to have been able to meet this great pope."
In 2000, it was proposed that she paint a portrait of John Paul II for his 80 birthday and also to celebrate the Jubilee. What this artist did not expect was that her picture would become the official portrait of the pope. Natalia Tsarkova
Painter"For me it was quite an honor because it was like a dream, but also a great responsibility to make this portrait of the pope. I did it and now it has become his official portrait. I'm very glad I did. I had a private audience where I presented the picture. The pope was very happy." FLASH (06.29 to 06.38) "He spoke in Russian to me and asked, 'Are you Russian? Long live Russian art!' He told me to continue painting."
Natalia Tsarkova has made five portraits of John Paul II.
In addition to the portraits of the pope, Natalia Tsarkova has done several related paintings, like a painting of the Virgin of Hope, given to him when he added the Luminous Mysteries to the Rosary or one of The Last Supper, which reflects the same search for peace and love that John Paul II proclaimed.
The color palette that best describes John Paul II has been made very clear.Natalia Tsarkova
Painter"His official portrait is done mostly in green, which symbolizes hope. But overall, I would say that there are three: green, as an expression of hope, and white and red as the colors of purity, faith, and love."
Natalia is an Orthodox Christian and ensures that this has never been any impediment to her work portraying Catholic Church authorities. Natalia Tsarkova
Painter"I feel that through art I'm like a bridge. I am very happy, I love the environment in which I move. I have many friends and I feel very appreciated."
She said that in Rome she found what she was looking for, and hopes to, with her brush, share in John Paul II's mission to achieve peace. Natalia hopes to stay in Rome as long as possible.