The Deacon and Solokho on the Hope Chest (Диакон и Солоха на сундуке). A compelling two-figure sculpture of two characters from "The Night before Christmas" (Ночь перед Рождеством), which is the first story in the second volume of the collection Evenings on a Farm Near Dikanka (Вечера на хуторе близ Диканьки) by Nikolai Gogol (1809-1852).
Kiev Experimental Ceramic-Art Factory, mid-1980's. This piece was designed by the sculptor V. Musienko (see next paragraph). Porcelain, overglaze art painting, gilding. Excellent condition, no restoration, no damage. Uncommon. 8¾" height, 6" width. 1 only.
Vasily Trofimovich Musienko (Василий Трофимович Мусиенко) was born in 1954 in the small village of Blidcha, northwest of Kiev. Vasily Trofimovich worked as a graphic designer, and studied in absentia at the Moscow University of Arts from 1975 to 1979, specializing in Easel Painting and Graphics. From 1980 to 1984, he studied at the Saratov Regional College of Arts, in the Volga region. After graduating, he began working as a sculptor-artist at the Polonsky Ceramic Plant from 1984 to 1986. From 1986 to 2003 he worked as a sculptor-artist at the Kiev Porcelain Factory. His work specializes in multi-figured compositions in the Ukrainian Baroque styles using folk art traditions of wood carving and pottery.
The Kiev Experimental Art Ceramics Factory (Kiev ECC) was founded in 1924 on the basis of a small workshop, which manufactured ceramic paints and decals. During World War II, the plant was destroyed but restored with the influx of capital investment. Mid-20th century found an expansion of the factory to manufacture decorative articles. Eventually the large art workshop became one of the best in the USSR at that time. Famous porcelain artists and sculptors that worked at the plant included O. L. Zhnikrup , V. I. Shcherbina , O. P. Rapay-Markish , G. M. Kaluga, A. D. Sorokin and many others. Also, Petrikov's painting on porcelain was introduced here for the first time. The fall of the USSR was not kind to these types of enterprises and eventually the factory ceased to exist. A collection of museum-quality pieces were to have been transferred to the State Museum of Decorative Ukrainian Art, but instead disappeared and presumed stolen.