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"Troika"
 Stock #: 910301 Artist: Savelyeva
Fedoskino
Size: 7 3/4" x 6 1/8" x 2"  Reg.$ 790
Your price: $360

The box is signed by the artist and comes with the Certificate of Authenticity.

In Russia the troika is a very important national theme representing freedom and good nature. During the long winter months taking a troika ride for fun is a common practice, and yes even today in more rural areas of the country. Some people would use troikas as modes of long distance transportation and troika stations were built on all of the main roads between all the major cities like Moscow, St. Petersburg, Vladivostok, and so on. Forever will the troika stay ingrained in Russian culture as a result of Nikolay Gogol's famous excerpt from Dead Souls, when he chronicles the freedom and exhilaration one might feel on a troika ride.
The focus of this composition is on the fierce racing steeds. They pull violently at their harnesses, rearing up on their hind legs and thrusting their heads in the air. The trio moves separately, but together as one. The artist paints them with fluid, swirling lines, like ocean waves crashing against a shore. Their manes whip in the wind, like licks of fire, their eyes keen and unpredictable, each muscle gracefully sculpted. The sleigh driver is of one essence with the horses, painted with wild eyes, flowing beard, and fur lined coat. His stance is wild, dominating the wild beasts. The folds of his coat drape naturally over his body, reflecting his motion and the gusting wind.
Egg-tempera paint is the main medium used to paint this composition. Bright oranges, yellows, and whites make up the troika and elements of the foreground. All of the movement is precisely managed with fluid brushwork and meticulously rendered details. Gold paint finds itself in the composition to outline and detail the sled, the driver's whip, and the snow on the trees in the background. All in all this composition moves in a water like motion that captures the essence of a troika ride through the winter night.
The box is made out of paper-mache made in Mstera. Black lacquer covers the exterior and red lacquer covers the interior of the box; clear lacquer is added in layers that are polished to a gleaming finish. Floral ornamentation painted with tempera paints frames the scene on the lid and wraps around the sides of the box.
Materials; paper-mache, egg-tempera paint, gold, and lacquer.

Artists from Fedoskino, the birthplace of Russian lacquer miniatures, use a more realistic style of painting than the other villages. They also use oil paints for their drawings instead of the egg-based temperas. Three to four layers of the oil paints, along with seven coats of lacquer, are applied to each box before it is completed. This layering brings out a radiant quality in the drawings and the colors seem to emanate from within. Sometimes, an underlay of gold leaf or mother of pearl enhances this radiance and adds a lovely iridescence of its own.

 

 

 

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