The Snow Maiden (Spring Fairy Tale) Снегурочка (Весенняя сказка). The Snow Maiden (Snegurochka) stands passively between her grandparents in a forest clearing. A bright red sun fills the sky. A retinue of villagers amusing themselves in song and in dance approach pulling a wooden cart carrying the straw effigy, which is to burned in advance of Carnival (or Shrovetide) and the coming of spring.
Alexander Ostrovsky (1823-1886) wrote the play in 1873. Pyotr Tchaikovsky (1840-1893) wrote the music for the play's production and Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov (1844-1908) wrote the opera. Ostrovsky owned an estate near Kostroma, a town named after the ancient goddess, who had to die for the village to receive a future harvest. Ostrovsky transformed this legend into the Snow Maiden. Thus, the Snow Maiden personifies Kostroma, her birthplace on April 2nd. She is even depicted on the coat of arms of the Ostrovsky district of the Kostroma region, dressed in an azure dress, and a silver coat lined with gold and a fur hat.
The box is the work of two talented Palekh artists: Andrei Vasilievich Arapov and Natalya Nikolaevna Arapova. They sign the box as "В. и Н. Араповы". The work is superb with 18 figures and faces. The detail is extraordinary, rivaled only by the elaborate borders surrounding the scene and the perimeter of the box. Approximately 9" x 6½" x 1¼". Egg tempera, gold, lacquer, papier-mache. 1 only.
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