|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.