Russian culture

Russian folk crafts Kargopol toy

Russian folk crafts Kargopol toy. Valentin Sheveliov. Quadrille Composition. 1984

Valentin Sheveliov. Quadrille Composition. 1984. Russian folk crafts Kargopol toy

Russian folk crafts Kargopol toy
The town of Kargopol was founded in the twelfth century. For several centuries it was an important commercial and agricultural center of Northern Russia. Rites and rituals connected with agriculture and the agricultural year contributed to the development of local folk culture, folklore and craftsmanship, whose themes and motifs were reflected in the patterns of woven and embroidered ornaments, clay sculpture, and toys.
Gradually, however, the town, lying far from the new Baltic commercial routes, had lost its significance and became an ordinary out-of-the way town of the Olonets Province. New ideas were slow to reach the area and gain ground in it, while deeply rooted traditions pervaded the culture and life of this Northern region.
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Russian Folk wood-painting

Folk wood-painting

Cupboard wall, detail. 1915. Ussolye district, the village of Zakamcnnaya. 27 cm wide. Russian Folk wood-painting

Russian Folk wood-painting

Folk wood-painting is one of the most interesting fields of Russian arts and crafts in the Kama area. Painted wooden articles were found in peasant houses and landlord’s mansions, including furniture, tools, household utensils and means of transportation, such as sledges, carts and river vessels. It was first discovered by the journalist V. I. Nemirovich-Danchenko in the 1870s, and in the 1920s P. S. Bogoslovsky, A. K.Syropyatov and N. Ye.Onchukov, students of the Urals artistic culture, spoke about the great variety of wood-painting in the Kama area. But its real value and establishment of its place in Russian traditional culture was determined in the 1960s owing to the efforts of an expedition of associates of the Institute of the Arts and Crafts Industry led by V. A. Baradulin.

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Russian cultural heritage The Yusupov palace

Blue reception-room. Russian cultural heritage The Yusupov palace

Blue reception-room. Arch. A.Mikhailov, 1830’s. Russian cultural heritage The Yusupov palace in St. Petersburg

Russian cultural heritage The Yusupov palace
Yusupov dynasty belongs to the one of the ancient ones of Russia. Its roots ascend to rulers of Nogaisky Horde. At the time of Ivan Grozny, the Yusupov were approached to the throne and in consequence they occupied a considerable position in Russian State. Prince Nikolai Borisovich Yusupov the Elder was the magnate of Catherine’s time, the political statesmen. He was personally acquainted with Diderot, Voltaire and with a many European Monarchs. The Prince was the real expert and lover of the art. In his famous collection there are works of such painters as Van Dake, Busher, T’epolo… and more.

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Edged weapons from Zlatoust

Edged weapons from Zlatoust 19th Century

Cavalry officer’s sabre, model 1817. By W. and L. Schaaf. 1820. Edged weapons from Zlatoust 19th century

Edged weapons from Zlatoust 19th century
Among the famous repositories of Russian arms and armor are the Hermitage in Leningrad, the History Museum in Moscow and the Museum of Regional Studies in the town of Zlatoust. In addition, the collection of the Museum of the Artillery, Engineering Corps and Communication Troops in Leningrad. This collection consists of edged weapons decorated by craftsmen of Russia, Georgia, the North Caucasus, India, Japan, and the Near East. A special section comprises works from the Zlatoust Arms Factory, which include over 150 sabres and palashes, small-swords and rapiers, backswords, daggers and hunting knives. And all manufactured in the nineteenth century. A large number of decorated edged weapons date from the 1820s and 1830s, when the art of arms-making at Zlatoust reached its highwater mark.

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Russian Traditional Folk Clay Toys

Russian folk clay toys

A large family. 1972. The town of Kirov. Made by Z. V. Peiikina (b. 1897), the I. E. Repin State Prize laureate. Red clay, painted. Russian Traditional Folk Clay Toys

Russian Traditional Folk Clay Toys
The clay toy is a highly original domain of folk art. From the antiquity did it carry into the 20th century the type of minor plastic forms which have retained their own range of colors and their specific assortment of painted and molded-decoration.
The immediate function of play was far from being the only important one for the folk toy. With the exception of some penny-whistles and rattles, the painted clay figurines were intended to be looked at and were meant for amusement. Like china, they were often used in the XIX and XX centuries in every-day life for decorative purpose. According to the opinion of specialists, such an „inner independence from practical aims” inherent in the folk toy was conducive to the liberation of the creative imagination of the craftsmen, permitting them to express in the toys they were making their conception of the world, nature and the people. The images impressing us even to-day are extremely economical in material and in technical devices.

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Wooden sculpture of Russian North

Wooden sculpture of Russian North

Wooden sculpture of Russian North

Wooden sculpture of Russian North

At the same time from the Middle Ages in the north – in Kargopol, Kholmogory, Archangel, the Solovetsky and Anthony-Syisky Monasteries, in bigger villages of the Northern Dvina, the Pinega and the Mezen areas their own workshops existed, where skillful craftsmen worked, carving out of wood statues of saints, remarkable for epic Power and plastic expressiveness. The same masters created carved many-tier iconostases, adorned with ornamental and sculptural decor for many wooden and stone churches in villages, towns and monasteries on the vast territory of the region. Our region was also famous for small-scale works of plastic art. In trade centers, villages and monasteries many craftsmen lived, who executed with great mastery delicate miniature carvings on wooden, stone and bone icons, panagias (images worn round the neck by bishops), diptychs, triptychs and crosses.

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Northern Dvina Traditional Folk Painting

Northern Dvina Traditional Folk Painting

A bread-bin Permogorye painting. Mid-19th century. Northern Dvina Traditional Folk Painting

Northern Dvina Traditional Folk Painting

Northern Dvina peasant painting is an original, striking phenomenon in Russian folk art. Painted household articles were in great demand in Russia. To further boost the demand, the sources they came from were kept secret. And only in 1950, the History and Art Museum of the Zagorsk Reserve organized an expedition to explore the North Dvina area folk painting phenomenon. An effort was to identify the regions and centers where painting was traditional. The expedition succeeded in clarifying and rendering concrete the commonly used but extremely vague term “Northern-Dvina painting”. According to researchers, these paintings can be divided into three major, independent categories or styles – the Rakulka, the Permogorye and the Borok painting.
The first category includes the painted woodwork from a number of villages bearing the common name of Mokraya Yedoma in the Krasnoborsk Region, four kilometers away from the Permogorye landing-stage. The characteristic feature of Permogorye painting, as it is generally referred to nowadays, is a narrative composition depicting scenes from everyday peasant life and bordered with a fine foliate pattern on a white background.
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Reviving Soviet Russian porcelain art

Soviet Russian porcelain figurine 'Russian', sculptor SB Velikhov, Leningrad Porcelain Factory, 1950. Reviving Soviet Russian porcelain art

Soviet Russian porcelain figurine ‘Russian’, sculptor SB Velikhov, Leningrad Porcelain Factory, 1950. Reviving Soviet Russian porcelain art

Reviving Soviet Russian porcelain art

Demand for Soviet porcelain is increasing every year, it’s a kind of nostalgia for the recent bygone era. The prices for USSR art porcelain can reach Moscow’s real estate prices, and growth is almost the same. And for some very rare and old pieces the prices are really high. Therefore, it’s high time for Reviving Soviet Russian porcelain art, in order to meet these demands. It’s worth noting, that the worst years for porcelain production became 1990s, when USSR collapsed. Nearly all porcelain factories lost most of their high professional art workers and painters. Just because they were not ready to fulfill their quality work for low salaries. In addition, was lost the link between them and the new generation of these workers. Nevertheless, with the revival of Russia, revived porcelain factories and craft centers throughout Russia. They still make the items that were created 30-40 years ago. Although these items do not have so detailed paintings as the old ones. And this is the reason that the old porcelain is more desirable.
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Eastern Siberia historical monuments

Eastern Siberia historical monuments

The eastern tower of the former Yakutsk gaol, built in 1685-1686. Photo: А. Falamov. Eastern Siberia historical monuments

Eastern Siberia historical monuments

In no other part of the world is it as difficult to get at these riches. Man is challenged by severe climatic conditions, perma-frost, impenetrable forests, mighty and swift rivers, stormy ocean and other barriers. That is why only those endowed with daring, endurance, perseverance and firmness can get at its riches. The first to explore this land were Cossacks. Their expeditions took many years. By the middle of the seventeenth century they had reached the northernmost point of the Asian continent, Kamchatka, the Okhotsk sea and the Amur river area. They were followed by the first settlers.
Among the explorers were Bering (a Dane who spent mod of his life in Russia), Stepan Krashenninikov, Steller (a German), Anjoux (a Frenchman), the merchant Grigori Shelikhov (he was born near Kursk, and charted the trade routes across the ocean to California) and Ivan Chersky, a Polish student who was exiled to Siberia for taking part in student uprisings. He lived in Yakutia and devoted his whole life to its exploration.
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Clocks State History Museum collection

Clocks State History Museum collection

Table clock Faberge. Front – Petersburg. 1873 Master Henrik Wigström. Silver, enamel, bone, metal, pearls. 1899-1908 Master Henrik Wigström. Gold, silver, enamel. Watch pocket. At The Top — Switzerland. The second half of the 19th century. Gold, metal, enamel. Bottom – Switzerland. The end of the 19th century. Gold, diamonds, enamel, metal. Clocks State History Museum collection

Clocks State History Museum collection

The State History Museum Collection of clocks and watches, regarded as art objects, boasts about 400 items. Comprising all the main types of mechanical timekeepers, that is table clocks, mantel clocks, wall clocks, bracket clocks, traveling clocks as well as pocket watches and wristwatches, the collection fairly represents the craftsmanship of both West European and Russian clock-makers of the 16th—20th and 19th—20th centuries. The choice of items for the collection was based on their artistic value and their belonging to famous figures in history.
The history of timekeepers, an integral part of culture and history, is closely linked with the scientific and technological progress. The development of clocks and watches underwent a long series of technical quests and improvements both in overall design ornamentation and function. Besides, mechanics and clock-making also involved the art of jewelers, fine furniture makers, sculptors, and bronze smiths, thus often rendering clocks masterpieces of applied art.
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