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Miniature Art from Palekh, Kholui, Mstera and Fedoskino

Miniature Art from Palekh, Kholui, Mstera and Fedoskino

Posted by Maison Russe on Oct 29th 2021

Brooches, buttons and pins are beautiful miniature oil and egg tempera paintings created by highly talented Russian artists. Several centuries ago, miniatures achieved great status in the art world. Future Russian masters studied special techniques from artists in England, Italy, and other great art centers. Much of the subject matter came from literature and folk tales as well as classical portraiture of the 18th-19th centuries.

The production techniques include painting, which must be fully dried, which is then covered with several applications of transparent lacquer. Each piece is finished by polishing and buffing. In expert hands, colors are rich and the finished piece shimmers and glows. Work is done on papier-mache, mother-of-pearl, or occasionally wood and can be inset into a handmade metal surround. Mother-of-pearl, both from fresh-water sources and the river, produces a dramatic piece. Gold, silver, bronze, and aluminum powders are frequently mixed with oils and tempera paints. Before the availability of commercial findings, the clasps would be a simple safety pin that was embedded into the papier-mache. Each piece serves multiple functions: first, as affordable and wearable art, second, it can be framed as a miniature, and third, as an heirloom to pass on from generation to generation. Each piece is may be signed by the artist and we add a gift box for an elegant presentation.