Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Unique Jewellery Finds - Russian Miniatures from Fedoskino

 Fedoskino  The beautiful art of Russian miniatures is what I want to share in this post . An art unique to Russia ( though other countries create miniatures too especially India  )  , these miniatures are in existence since many years . My interest in this unique art was sparked by accident .
   I was gifted a tiny little pendant from a friend who visited Russia many years ago . Thinking that it was a usual piece of jewelry from a far away land , I wore it on many occasions , little knowing what it actually was  ( and also neither did my friend who gifted it to me ! ) . It was only during one of my browsing sessions recently  , that I happened to  stumble upon this unique jewellery   . Remembering my pendant , I found to my surprise that the piece that I had ,  was similar to the one I was seeing on the screen in front of me ,
   Intriqued about this art form , this is what I found:

       Fedoskino miniature is a traditional Russian lacquer painting on papier-mâché, named after it`s original center Fedoskino, a village near Moscow. The typical feature of this  Russian folk art is   ; layers of oil paint, compact brushwork and fine "transparent" strokes hand painted labourously .Most of the Fedoskino papier-mache articles  have a black background on the outside and are covered inside with scarlet, bright-red or cherry-colored lacquer, and made into beautiful snuff boxes . Several layers of pasted cardboard, boiled in linseed oil and then repeatedly dried in a hot oven,form a hard, light and waterproof material that can be cut, polished and lacquered. This technique is more than 200 years old.

fedoskino brooch

As this art gained popularity , apart from Fedoskino,  the nearby villages  like Palekh, too gained recognition  . It is in this tiny area that most Russian lacquer boxes, trays and accessories are crafted. Each village has its own style and favorite subjects ranging from  fairy tales, village scenes, landscapes and bouquets.

Russian hand painted miniature from

  In the 1970's Famous Russian Artist Irena Livanova ,   started experiments aimed at creating Palekh-style adornments such as pendants and brooches  in Mother of pearl  and  mounted in metal settings. The  artists draw the painting on the Mother of pearl   using a magnifying glass and a thin brush consisting of one piece of squirrel’s hair. Gold is applied to the borders, and the Mother of pearl   is  polished with a wolf’s tooth. It sometimes takes the artist as long as eight months to finish one piece.  all portraying different Russian landscape scenes.  

  And here`s a picture of my pendant , the one that inspired me to write this post ,

This one  is signed ,   but you will need a magnifying glass to see it.  (It shows at the bottom in  the picture).   

Is`nt it a beautiful work of art ? what do you think? 



  1. Ohhh my these are simply amazing! The art is stunning.

  2. its mind blowing and this is the first time I am hearing of this technique, so many thanks :)

  3. Yes indeed , This art is truly amazing and the paintings are so beautiful . My camera has not been able to capture the calm serenity and dexterous brush strokes that`s visible when actually seen!. And I really thank my friend who gifted it to me!

  4. Seriously looks breathtaking, only just by imagining how was it made with care and precision, the third picture really looks like a treasure to me.


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