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Fedoskino Miniature Painting
September 8, 2009 14:21


Fedoskino miniature is one of the types of traditional lacquered miniature painting. Painting is made in oils on papier-mache articles. This handicraft was developed in the late 18th century in the Fedoskino Settlement under Moscow. The art owned its appearance to popularity in Europe of snuffboxes, made of pressboard (i.e.papier-mache). The boxes were covered with black ground, varnished, and then painted with classical topics. Such snuffboxes became fashionable in Russia as well, and in the late 18th century a merchant Korobov organized their production in this country.

Initially the snuffboxes were decorated with prints, pasted on the lids and covered with transparent varnish. In the first half of the 19th century they gave place to oil painting miniatures. After the death of Korobov the factory was owned by his daughter for some time, and then went to merchants Lukutins, who owned it for 85 years.

The heyday of Fedoskino miniature fell on the second half of the 19th century, and the works of that time are even called ‘lukutins’. Some of the craftsmen working on the factory had artistic education, and lots of them came from icon painting studios.

Among popular motifs of Fedoskino painting were all sorts of tea-drinking with samovar, troikas (carriage-and-three), and scenes from Russian peasant life. Out of all works by Fedoskino masters the most highly estimated were caskets decorated with replicas of paintings by famous artists.

Fedoskino miniature is painted in oils with three or four layers. The original Fedoskino technique is the so-called “through painting”: some light-reflecting stuff, like metal powder, Dutch foil, or nacre is applied on the surface before painting it. Appearing through transparent layers of paints, this stuff adds depth and glowing effect to the picture. Fedoskino artists boasted brilliant craftsmanship in painting, and correlating composition of painting with the shape of the item.

The fact made their works popular not only in Russia, but in Europe also. Lukutin’s factory existed till the early 20th century, and then was transformed into an artel.

After the revolution the artel went on working, with its staff growing in number and new, modern motifs and plots appearing in painting. The range of products increased as well, but traditions of Fedoskino lacquer miniature remained alive, and are still used for creation of splendid works that have gained merited popularity.

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Tags: Russian Arts and Crafts Russian Souvenirs Russian Miniature Painting Fedoskino  

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