The Soviet artist Nikolai Ponomaryov (Николай Афанасьевич Пономарёв) (1918 – 97) often travelled abroad and created several series of gouaches and drawings in tribute to the countries he visited. He went to Egypt, Vietnam, Japan and Bulgaria. He also visited India, and that set of works is particularly admirable in his ability to recreate with just a few touches an entire vibrant scene, portraits or landscapes. The choice of his technique was completely organic, somehow allied with the spirit of the country he was in: his subtlety of perception and expression was coloured by the poetry he saw in the daily life in every country.
Truth be told, Ponomaryov was an authorised Soviet artist during his missions abroad, and his sketches were therefore limited by his politics and social views. Still, he was sympathetic to the concerns of the peoples he visited, and that sympathy is apparent in his works. Below are some of them.