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Vatican official court painter Natalia Tsarkova to finish the portrait of Pope Francis

Natalia Tsarkova, is the official portraitist of the Popes and the only woman admitted as a painter at the Vatican. Now she is working on the portrait of Papa Francesco, which will be ready on time for the anniversary of his election. A Russian born, Natalia Tsarkova was one of the most successful students at the Moscow Academy of Arts and is known for her portraits of numerous celebrities. A devout Orthodox Christian, she came to Rome more than twelve years ago and although she intended to stay just a few months, her life took a turn in 2000 when she was asked to paint a portrait of Blessed John Paul II to mark his 80th birthday. From then she became the official painter of the Popes, and Her portraits are exposed to the Vatican Museums.

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Produced by Massimo Bruno
Video Language it
Produced Mar 11, 2014
Published Mar 11, 2014
Production Company Raw-News
Distributor Raw-News

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visuals: 00:00-00:19  Footage of Natalia Painiting the Pope Francis portrait

Sot (ITA): 00:19-01:16 Natalia Tsarkova

"I am studying Pope Francis, he is a very strong spiritual person, a real phenomenon, very polite, very simple. And I thought that i surely had to describe his strong spirituality through the eyes, from his facial expression. The pope is smiling, with an ecstatic smile"

Visuals: 01:16-01:45   Pope Francis's  portrait details

Sot (ITA): 01:45-02:52  Natalia Tsarkova:

"There is also another meaning, there is the "Lost Sheep" tale, which is always addressed by the pope, always "The Good Shepherd". In this portrait the pope found this lost little sheep, still a lamb, and it conveys tenderness and sweetness and is already quiet; but also it looks toward us, with a questioning look as if to say "What are you doing to me, why are you hurting me? Here I am, now I am quiet with the pope". Here there will be the wounded lamb, but already arranged, cared for, pampered and quiet. This is a positive message, a message of hope".

Visuals: 02:52-03:32  Natalia painting the lamb's details of the portrait

Sot ( ITA): 03:32-04:13  Natalia Tsarkova:

"I was asked to do an exhibition, so I came and the exhibition went well, I was commissioned some works and so I came for 3 months, then Rome made everything in order to do not let me go. I started working with the aristocracy, then the word of mouth reached the Vatican, and since pope John Paul II did not have a real "official portrait" yet, then I received this proposal to do it,  I painted it and it became the official portrait".

Visuals: 04:13-04:43  Archive Footage of the encounter between Natalia and pope John Paul II

Sot (ITA): 04:43-05:11  Natalia Tsarkova:

"Regarding pope Benedict I have been studying for one year, well, much more; for one year I have been thinking, for another year I have been studying, well, it is a complex thing, then I decided to represent pope Benedict XVI as a great Theologist sat on the Chair, teaching the Word of God from the Chair".

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