Natasha (Natalia Petrovna Ponomarev) was born in Kazan, in a noble half-Russian-polutatarskoy family. Her loved ones were, of course, and commoners. Natasha's father at the time of birth of his daughter (1895) held the rank of colonel. My mother was a lady quite emancipated and inspected the school. The family, of course, had a servant, but a way of life was quite artistic, and strict orders not respected. All family members (parents, Natasha, her two brothers) dearly loved animals, especially cats, which count in the big house Ponomarevs not always possible. Natasha grew, often to itself, free-thinking, curious child, interested in the natural sciences, which succeeded her brothers, endlessly drawing. In high school she studied at the same time Natalia Dyakovo (later Galoy Dali) and seems to have been a friend of this extraordinary girl. Young teenager Ponomarev knew the history of art, and so had a brush that graduating from high school, easily entered the Kazan Academy of Fine Arts in the class of young Nicholas Feshina then, becoming his favorite pupil for all the years of study. The search for perfection in painting led Natalia, has already become a mature master, in Petrograd. Volunteer, wanting to know all the new facets of creativity girl has twenty-five workshops in Petrograd Academy of Fine Arts (then VHUTEMAS - VHUTEIN). Here and there is their acquaintance with my future father. Janov Fifteen Kostya - young prodigy does not look a teenager. His painting is unique, colorful, bold. He is well-educated, independent, beautiful high. Long walks on the Petrograd suburbs and fabulous ... Read books and heart beloved and already banned Gumilyov, Fyodor Sologub, Andrei Bely. The father then knew "by heart" poetry is now called "Silver Age". Memorable, often with one reading, poems, stories. Garshina Loved, loved Leonid Andreyev, and everything and everyone in the art could talk for hours continuously. And so it turned out that he and Natasha common views on life, work, the role of personality in art. Hunger, cold Civil War, post-war devastation, only strengthen born proximity, NEP, Natasha reluctance to emigrate to America with the teacher - Feshin give birth to young people an understanding that their way - and the inner emigration "art for art's sake." The possibility to survive and not to lose the art of a boy and a girl, too, are looking for their own, but a very close angle ... Konstantin always worshiped beauty, but not finality of ancient statues, no otshlifovannosti or photographic techniques not lisserovkam, and the miracle of the reflection of the sky in a muddy puddle , magic oblique ray of sunlight on the roof of the Petrograd. He worshiped tale, appearing suddenly and out of nowhere. Natasha was beautiful. Beautiful delicate oriental features, flexibility and grace "Shamahanskaya queen", but, above all, an inner light, radiant look, dynamism and originality. A rare coincidence of common interests, goals and views ... and delight in the external form. If you recall the line of Mikhail Svetlov - "But what is beauty? ......" Do not cease to be surprised that it also happens that the vessel and its content is equally great. Tender young people friendship grew into love, and since 1926, they live together. First, in a large apartment Yanov, where by the time of Constantine's parents live, the younger sister of Vera. In the near future again, hunger, cold, repression 30s. Again the fear of a knock at the door, that can mean only one thing - "come" and suddenly life can end. In 1927, Konstantin comes to the studio artist "Belgoskino" (later "Lenfilm" - "Lennauchfilm). Natasha takes opened while the Union of Artists. Her painting is more traditional and straightforward viewer than mystical compositions of Constantine. And, "roll up their sleeves," she writes not only numerous portraits of her beloved husband, but also landscapes, still lifes, portraits of friends, acquaintances, workers foremost. People wonderful their inner light and sincere belief in a bright future ... But rapidly running years. 37th, 41st ... Many will die. Killed Natasha ... She died of starvation in the autumn 42nd ... I remember a story my father about how she and Natasha (Ponomareva) were and could not get up in the cold room on the Petrograd side, on Zverinskaya, 18. (In the communal room on Zverinskaya close from the family home, the couple moved in the early thirties, so as not to embarrass the family sisters - Vera and Yuri Traugot Sr., who has born the eldest son - Alexander). Life was leaving them. At some point (and by the time dad for several months in a starvation delirium) father seemed to heat and light penetrated into it, starting from the next bed, the one on which lay dying, Natasha. My father told me that in that terrible time, he sincerely believed that Natasha, his wife, a friend and an angel - keeper also a real angel! Cleverly hide his wings .... She died. But I believe, I know that it is his love, the desire to her favorite Kostya continued to live it - indeed miraculous - breathed into him strength and life. And only thanks to this magical woman Dad managed to live to escape and die on the way to Novosibirsk, where he was sent, together with the employees of the studio, which is still kept on his feet, could move. Father, barely alive, weighing about forty kilograms, in the third stage dystrophy patient with scurvy, carried in her arms. Low bow and eternal gratitude to these people.
Elena Janov (from the book of memoirs about his father - Konstantin Jani)