Saint Basil's Cathedral (Собор Василия Блаженного) Art Matryoshka Doll. A Russian church extravaganza! The first three dolls all have a variation of St. Basil's Cathedral (see below). The next few are similarly done with many cupolas that imply the great monasteries of Russia. The last doll has a cross on the front. Each piece has intricate an intricate design on the back and the first piece has an unreal amount of work on it. All of the enhancements - the woodburning, painting, and potal were done by the hand of the artist. (Potal (Поталь) is a form of gold foil decoration that imitates gilding. There are no shortcuts involved. Dated 1993 and "Сергиев Посад (Sergiev Posad). Unknown artist. 10 nest, 9¼ to ¾". Excellent condition and excellent work. 1 only, as shown.
Saint Basil's Cathedral (Собор Василия Блаженного) is formally known as The Cathedral of Vasily the Blessed. Located in the Red Square of Moscow, it presents a captivating image of Byzantine style and grace. Built from 1555 to 1561 on orders from Ivan the IV (aka Terrible), it commemorates the expansion of Russia with the acquisition of territories of Kazan and Astrakhan. Originally the Trinity Cathedral, it was divided into eight chapels arranged around a ninth, central chapel which was dedicated to the Intercession. A tenth chapel was built over the grave of Basil the Blessed (1468-1557), who, while still living, rebuked Ivan the Terrible for not paying attention in church. The complex structure symbolizes a flame and is like no other church, or for that matter, building in Russia. In 1929, after the Russian revolution, it was secularized. It was still standing in 1991, after the Soviet Union dissolved, and after having survived Napoleon and Stalin. Weekly services have been restored, thus combining one of Russia's greatest tourist attractions with an operational church.