"Ruslan and Ludmila" Russian "Super" Matryoshka. A 22-piece tour-de-force created in 1995. Each doll is painted with scenes and characters from the "Tale of Ruslan and Ludmila". It took the artist nearly 2 months to complete this doll set. The lathe operator also did fine work and the wood was cured for over two years before painting could commence. About fine condition, 12" down to tiny. 1 only.
Ruslan is a heroic medieval warrior from Alexander Pushkin's epic poem written in 1820. At the wedding feast of Ruslan and Ludmila, she is kidnapped by an evil dwarf magician by the name of Chernomor. Ludmila's father, Vladimir of Kievan Rus', blames Ruslan for the disaster and proclaims he will allow her to marry the first man who finds her, which includes other knights and warriors, including Ruslan's chief rivals: Farlaf, Ratmir and Rogdai. They all set out in pursuit. One of the more fantastic vignettes is when Ruslan meets the Giant Slumbering Head, who, it turns out, is the bodiless brother of Chernomor. Ruslan subdues and defeats him, and most importantly, finds the magical sword beneath him. This enables Ruslan to defeat Chernomor in the end.