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Mstera & Kholui

Mstera, or Mstyora (Мстёра) miniatures are different from those from Palekh or Kholui. Though, on first glance, they all seem the same. In general, Mstera painters choose a lighter background for their work, with black being all but absent from their palette. The village of Mstera is located in the center of the Vladimir-Suzdal province on two rivers. The landscape of the village is reflected in the fields and foilage of many Mstera boxes. 

Kholui, or Kholuy, miniature work (Холуйская миниатюра) was founded in the 1930s by a group of artists whose descendents were icon painters going back to the 1880s.  According to some experts, Kholui miniatures are less bounded by tradition than those from Palekh, Fedoskino and Mstera. Their subject material includes Russian fairy tales, such as the Snowmaiden or Ruslan and Ludmilla, architectural scenes of churches and monasteries and florals. Kholui is an ancient settlement in central Russia near Mstera and Palekh and it straddles the Teza river.


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