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Lipetsk

Lipetsk miniature painting is occasionally categorized as the "legendary" fifth village. Less well known among collectors of Russian miniature art, it has an interesting history. Lipetsk is a city about 280 miles south of Moscow. Roughly 55 years ago, Yevgeniy Prokopyevich Chalykh (Евгений Прокопьевич Чалых), a rich director of a state-owned fuel company, founded an artist's collective and named it Lipetskiye Uzori (Липецкие узоры), which means "Lipetsk Patterns". He enticed artists from Kholui and Mstera, and occasionally Palekh, with inexpensive housing and a steady income. They painted lacquer boxes on papier-mache, decorated Tula metal samovars in Khokhloma and Zhostovo patterns, including the trays and teapots, and painted wood carvings in the style of Khokhloma. Lipetsk had its heyday and, when painted by accomplished artists, produced high quality goods with a beauty and elegance all its own. Official Lipetsk production was known as Lipetsk-K (for Kombinat), while Lipetsk-C was a breakaway cooperative which cranked out cheap brooches. Lipetsk-U (Uzori) painted the Khokhloma-style wooden ware.

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