Length: 3.5" (9cm) Width: 4" (10cm) Height: 1.75 (4cm) Maker: Palekh Material: Lacquered papier-mache. Russia's tradition of lacquer painting (Russian: , lakovaya zhivopis) before the revolution was connected with folk art and production of icons. Russian lacquer painting is built up through several layers of varnish, creating a three-dimensional effect.
The village of Fedoskino located not far from Moscow on the banks of the Ucha River, is the oldest of the four art centers of Russian lacquer miniature painting on papier-mâché, which has been practiced there since 1795. It stands apart both geographically, and in that that oil paints are used rather than egg tempera. While allowing the artist a free hand in impressionistic interpretation, the style of Fedoskino painting is largely realistic in composition and detail. The four Russian lacquer art centers are.Kholuy (Kholuy, Kholuj, Holui -). The lacquer artists of Palekh, Kholui and Mstera continue to use the technique of painting in egg-based tempera overlaid with intricate gold leaf highlighting. All three are situated in the Vladimir-Suzdal Principality, Ivanovo region of central Russia, and are deeply rooted in the 17th-19th century icon painting tradition, which lasted until the Russian Revolution of 1917 and is now being revived by young artists of the 21st century. Russian Lacquer Boxes Collector's Guide. From the Russian American Company.
With the opening of Russia in 1990, or the end of the USSR the art of Russian lacquer miniature painting has gained worldwide appreciation and these small treasures are highly sought after by collectors. As a result, many Russian boxes are now being produced by untrained people using inferior materials such as wood, poured acrylic, or pressed sawdust-board called argalite. Authentic Russian lacquer boxes, from the four traditional villages that produce them, should be painted by traditional techniques on a papier-mâché base.
The papier-mâché process, which takes an average of six weeks, ensures the most stable medium - it will not warp, does not expand and contract with temperature, and has a linseed oil base which renders it impervious to moisture. Tips to authenticate a true Russian lacquer miniature. Sight: Examine the box and painting. Is the painting "flat" or does it have the depth of field of true miniature art, achieved by the process of "layering" many applications of paint and lacquer?The box should not have seams that show. Look for a grid pattern on the bottom or sides of the box that indicates a machine pressed argalite box. Examine the painting with a magnifying glass to identify "cutouts, " and the many tiny "dots" that make up a photo decoupage. Look for any cracks in the lacquer. Weight: The weight of the box is another clue since papier-mâché is usually lighter than wood or pressed argalite for the same size, wall thickness, etc...
Take the time to handle a few authentic boxes and you will learn to feel the difference. Sound: Tap the bottom of the box with a fingernail or tap the lid gently closed.The sound of real papier-mâché will seem muted and soft when compared with nontraditional materials. Smell: After about 6 months of aging, the papier-mâché begins to have a distinct odor from its linseed oil base. Open the box and smell the inside. If it has the rich, almost "antique" smell of linseed oil, then it is likely genuine. This is a good test and you should learn to identify this smell. Style: Learn to identify the style characteristics of the four villages. Each of the four traditional centers of Russian lacquer miniature painting has a school that trains its artists passing on traditions and techniques that result in a distinct "village" style. Note: some high quality papier-mâché blanks are now being made without the clay primer and instead are being soaked in a solution of modern automotive lacquer. This high-tech lacquer is extremely hard and durable, allowing for boxes with thinner walls. This must be taken into consideration when attempting to determine the authenticity of a newer Russian lacquer box as this modern process results in a box with a weight and sound that differs significantly from boxes of traditional construction.
In Fedoskino the village name is normally written at the left or center lower margin of the painting with the year of completion next to it. In the right lower margin is the artist's signature.
As is common with traditional oil paintings, the painters of Fedoskino usually sign their works in a color that is complementary to the painting. Sometimes it is difficult to make out the signature as it can blend in with the edge of the painting.Palekh artists normally sign and date their work in the same arrangement as those of Fedoskino. In Palekh, however, the signature is done in fine gold against the black (or other color) lacquer, creating high contrast. Mstera and Kholui artists also sign their work on the right lower margin with the village name usually on the left corner or center margin. The paintings of Mstera and Kholui, however, are usually not dated.
Instead, the painting's title frequently appears between the village name and the signature, or is written along the top margin of the painting. Like Palekh, the signatures are usually done in gold. NOTE on some boxes the artist's information can be found on the bottom of the box or under the lid. A note on numbering boxes: On lacquer boxes produced in the official workshops of Fedoskino and Palekh there is frequently a number near the village name. Because the demand for papier mache boxes is so great, each blank box produced in these official (formerly government run) factories, is given an inventory number to make sure that the boxes aren't being pilfered.
The number has no relation to the painting, only to the blank papier mache box. A box with #1240 written in the margin simply means that the papier mache blank is number 1240 of the boxes of that same shape and size produced in that year.
Each of those 1240 boxes may have a completely different painting, and the numbering starts over again with the new year. The item "VINTAGE PALEKH LACQUER BOX STORY OF VASILISA-BABA YAGA & THE RED KNIGHT" is in sale since Monday, February 13, 2017. This item is in the category "Collectibles\Cultures & Ethnicities\Russian". The seller is "adamodenni" and is located in Bellmore, New York.This item can be shipped worldwide.