Russian lacquer miniature
Fedoskino lacquer miniature.
The art of lacquer miniatures appeared in ancient China several thousand years ago, then, through India and Persia, in the 17th century penetrated Europe, conquering the beauty of French and German masters. The first production of products decorated with varnishes was opened in Germany in 1763.
Wealthy fashionistas from all over Europe sought to get an exquisite box or snuffbox with a gallant scene or fancy Rococo patterns. From Russia orders were received for caskets with portraits of the great monarchs. However, I also wanted to have such a production in myself, fortunately, the craftsmen always had Russian land full, and under their power they could do better abroad.So, in 1797, the enterprising merchant P. I. Korobov founded a workshop near Moscow for the production of varnished visors for military hats. Learning from Western experience, he got accustomed and began to produce boxes, beads and cigarette cases, decorated with miniatures
Casket from the workshop of P.I. Korobova
That workshop grew and expanded, becoming in 1910 the Fedoskino artisanal atrelia, today the Fedoskinskaya Factory, located in the village of the same name Fedoskino, carefully preserves the technological and visual tradition, releasing all new products, not forgetting to keep up with the times.
These masterpieces are made of papier-mache, pressed cardboard, cheap, durable and convenient, which has become the basis for all lacquer miniature products, all art centers. Fedoskino painting is done in several layers of oil paints.
First, a light undermining is applied to the prepared black background, then there should be a copybook, glaze layers with transparent paints and final glare.
There is also a special, unique “through” method of writing in this craft, in which the finest glaze with through paints is applied over reflective details, such as mother of pearl, gold leaf, potal or aluminum powders, which give the painting incredible flicker and shine.
Mother of Pearl Painting
Fedoskintsev’s favorite motifs are triples of horses, cozy tea parties, landscapes, the heroic past of Russia, copies of paintings and complex multi-figured scenes.
Guryanova S., Charka honey, 115×90
Leonov N., Troika, 103×65
Grafova E, Landscape, 75×50
In addition to miniature painting, products can be decorated with some spectacular techniques:
Scan is a technique in which a small geometric piece of foil is laid out by a pattern that the artist needs.
Turtle – a fresh colorful layer is barely scorched by candles, forming dark spots, imitating a tortoise shell.
Dipping is an exquisite technique in which the product is gently lowered into a container of water and oil paints, forming a film on the water, they stick to the surface, creating an imitation of marble.
Tartan is a very painstaking method of applying a grid of colored stripes.
The impeccable combination of the product’s shape and image, contrasts of the black background and vivid images, the depth and radiance of iridescent shades, combined with amazingly miniature painting make Fedoskino lacquer miniature a work of art, loved not only at home, but also incredibly popular among foreigners.