RUSSIAN LACQUER ART FEDOSKINO
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Here I have crafted an exquisite portrait of a young girl in traditional Russian attire. Judging from her rich dress and expensive jewels, she is the daughter of a noble boyar. She isn’t married as her head is covered with the bright red ribbon decorated with large pearls, but not with a kokoshnik that is a typical head-dress of married women in ancient Russia. It is an interesting fact that all females in ancient Russia were forbidden to go out bareheaded. While married women wore kokoshiks and kerchiefs, young girls wore ribbons decorated with pearls like the girl depicted here. It was shameful to show hair to anyone except a husband for any woman.
The girl depicted here embodies the Russian ideal of female beauty. Thick eyebrows and eyelashes, big blue eyes, red fleshy lips and ruddy cheeks have been always the standards of female beauty in Russia. Behind the girl’s back extends the beautiful forest landscape typical for Russian countryside. White birches, the bright blue cloudless sky, the smooth surface of the lake which banks are covered with lush green grass and blue cornflowers.
The girl’s face is exactly proportionate. Despite her serious expression, her large blue eyes and rosy cheeks reveal an amiable personality. The most noticeable is the inlaid mother-of-pearl for the girl’s ribbon decorated with pearls, for the collar of her dress and the rich pearl necklace, for the sky and the water. By having the mother-of-pearl below several layers of clear lacquer, then painting over it, The girl’s collar, the plants, and the birch leaves are highlighted with gold paints. Aluminum powder, as well as mother-of-pearl creates the brilliance of the water.
The composition is framed with a gold line. Black lacquer mixed with gold dust is used to paint its exterior while red lacquer also mixed with gold dust completes its interior. The base of the box is framed with original gold patterns composed of different forest plants, flowers and grass. The lid is hinged from the left of the composition, and the box rests on a flat base. The work is signed Knyazev Sergey, dated (2005) and titled («Boyar’s Daughter»)