Ruslan's Battle with the Giant Head (Бой Руслана с головой). Mstera, circa 1970-80. Papier-mache, egg tempera paints, lacquer. Detailed decorative freehand scroll border in gold. around the painting. A nice hinged box, initialed "ВЕ"by the artist in liquid gold. Approximately 6" x 4" x 1½". 1 only. Some signs of use and age on the bottom, painting is excellent.
The Tale of Ruslan and Ludmila, by Alexander Pushkin, tells about a heroic medieval warrior who marries the beautiful Ludmila. At their wedding feast, Chernomor, an evil dwarf magician, kidnaps the bride. Ludmila's father blames Ruslan for the disaster and proposes to give her hand in marriage to the first man who finds her. Thus, Ruslan's rivals, Farlaf, Ratmir and Rogdai, all set out in pursuit. Ruslan meets the giant Slumbering Head (depicted here) who, it turns out, is the brother of Chernomor. Ruslan subdues and defeats him, and most importantly, finds the magical sword under him, which enables Ruslan to defeat Chernomor in the end.