Vassilissa and Her Stepsisters. Edition 1981. Fifth plate in the series "Russian Fairy Tales " by Heinrich Porcelain Fabrik (Villeroy and Boch). Plate is 8¼" diameter. With Certificate of Authenticity and box. 1 only.
Boris Zworykin (1872-1942) is celebrated as one of the most important of Russia's ornamental illustrators. The Russian Fairy Tales decorative plate collection, a series cycle produced from 1980-1983, is a wonderful tribute to his marvelous artistic gifts. The original illustrations, which are housed in the Metropolitan Museum at New York, were created 100 years ago, following Zworykin's emigration to Paris after the Russian Revolution. He used gouache, a type of paint consisting of pigment suspended in water, that intensifies brilliance of colors.
Each plate is an individual masterpiece. The edition was begun in 1980 with three scenes from the tale "The Snow Maiden". Subsequent annually-issued editions of three plates followed, based on the fairy tales: "The Firebird" and "Vasilissa the Fair". The series closed in 1983 with "Maria Morevna". Production methods for hard-paste porcelain plates, to be faithful to the original pastel colors, use a high carat gold, making it possible, for example, to emphasize red and lilac shades from the original art. After firing is completed, at temperatures approaching 1500 F., the colors display a brilliance not often found on porcelain. The reason for this is that only one of each of the 28 different ceramic colors is applied before firing - a procedure that requires time, care, and precision. These plates have been out of production since the early 1980s.