My latest meeting with the folk artist who was a true artist in everything. A year and a half ago, I interviewed Alexei Batalov. He felt bad. Years of litigation from a neighbor in the country, which illegally took away people’s artist of the piece of the already small plots of land, crippled Alexey Vladimirovich.
“We have the only possibility to get some air,” he shared. Only recently, four days before death, Batalov found out that their family has won a decade-long lawsuit. Showing me his apartment in the legendary House on the embankment, he gently touching the hanging wall picture of a very familiar cartoon. It turns out that it is a gift of Yuri Norstein, Creator of the famous “Hedgehog in the fog”: “Yura often visits me, absolutely love this man. First of all, because we’re on the same wavelength”.
Alexei Batalov turned to his wife before his death
From the view of the Moscow river is breathtaking. “Yes, really, unbelievable! Every time I admire,” says the Director. We go to the dining room where I pay attention to the time-darkened picture of the Petersburg bridge, and on it the lonely thin figure of a woman: “In my childhood I was sure that I would become an artist. Learned to draw, and when he wanted to quit, Anna Akhmatova was suddenly asked to do a portrait of her. This is my latest work, more pencil in hand did not take”.
Batalov’s first meeting with the great Russian poetess (the great Russian poet, he corrects) happened when Alex was still in school. “She was friendly with my mother. I absolutely do not understand someone in front of me, but saw the lady with a quiet voice and incredible at the time oblique bangs is very different from many female friends mom. Everyone called her by my name, always gave the most convenient in the house the couch, perched there with her legs Akhmatova in their traditionally long dresses regally reclined. When I returned from the army, she gave me a wad of money:
“Buy me, please, a decent suit, coat.” But I boomed in a dream – an old “Moskvich”. Drove it under the window of the house, went up to his floor and saying: “Anna Andreyevna, I got the car.”
Mother at these words clutched at his heart, and Akhmatova slowly turned to me and said, “I think it’s great.” Alexey asks permission to take a moment to lie down and his wife Gitana summon me to the side. It appears, from the hospital Manager of the President, which treated Batalov, came the notice that the popular artist is going to detach. “Everything has to be paid, and we don’t have enough money,” embarrassed, justified Gitana Arkadevna. (The next morning through the presidential press service I solve the problem.) Speaking about relations with his wife, Batalov in the eyes of the younger. Recalls how he first saw her at a circus performance in Leningrad: “the thin Eighteen year old girl-a Gypsy with a mane more than a horse. Stood on the rump, pranced, and even beat the drum!” They married ten years later, then was born the daughter of Mashenka – the pain and the great love of Alexei Vladimirovich:
“Bitch, took delivery, released the surgeon, and a child picked out for so long that Mary has suffocated”.
49-year-old woman still does not walk or talk. But thanks to parental care in childhood, he bought her an electric typewriter – became a writer. While the girl was growing up, Batalov refused to pay in the Fund world, if only he was allowed to take overseas trip daughter. Today Maria Batalova is preparing to release a collection of his tales, but the father will not see it. And Alexey showed me that day the main relic of their family – ring of his grandfather. In a shabby narrow silver band was engraved: “God is With us and honor!”