Russian Papier-Mache Mstera Lacquer Box “Deer Hunting”


These Russian Lacquer Boxes originated in Russia in the 17th century and are a good example of the finest level of detail by some of Russia’s talented artists.  It is made of papier-mache and they use oil or tempera paints and they get their name from the many layers of lacquer that are applied to both their outside and inside sections. The paint brushes typically have one rabbit or squirrel hair and are painted and then polished many times. The boxes originate primarly from four villages, Mstera, Palekh Fedoskino and Kholui and they each have their own style. Some of their famous artists include Kritov, Zotov, Shishakov and many others.  They are famous the world over and come in unique shapes and sizes.

This box was painted in Mstera, a small village located a few hundred kilometres northeast of Moscow where a lot of the population was involved in some aspect of the icon painting industry.  The landscape is of central importance to the painting with people and objects integrated to the setting.  Typical themes are fairy tales, traditional events, hunting, landscapes, winter festivals and floral designs with lacy gold ornamentation. To recognise a Mstera lacquer box they are typically signed with gold in the margin between the painting and border. They include the artist’s name, village name and often a title although they are rarely dated.

The boxes are a feat of skill are beautiful and inspired by the orient in rich oranges, reds, yellows, brilliant blues and opulent olds and typically on backgrounds of jet black or red.

Length: 15.5 cms
Width: 10 cms

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In stock