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Item #0000100552

Serenade (1928)

from Palekh by I. Zubkov
2.88" x 1.00"(7.30 x 2.50 cm)

Gallery Price: $ 1595.00
Internet Price: $ 1495.00
None currently available
A third generation icon painter, Ivan Zubkov was one of the founders of the Artel of Old Painting. This co-operative sought to preserve the famous artistry found in Palekh icons after the Russian Revolution destroyed the icon trade, and nearly collapsed the local economy. Following disappointing experiments with decorating other items, the former icon painters found inspiration in the nearby village of Fedoskino, which had been decorating black lacquer boxes for over one hundred years. At each exhibition, the fusion of lacquer boxes with the traditional, icon style painting of Palekh was better received than the last. Encouraged by their successes, Zubkov and six of his fellow artists founded the Artel, and became the first generation of Palekh lacquer box artists. Zubkov is best remembered for his love of the outdoors, and the vibrance of everyday life. His love of the joy and color of folk life once led to his having to repaint a somber church mural, as his original looked too much like a festival! His painting features a more realistic approach than that of his fellow artists. He never painted mythical creatures or fairy tale palaces, focusing instead on the beauty all around him. He eschews more stylized proportions, preferring his figures true to life. Even his backgrounds receive great attention, often, with each plant identifiable. This scene is typical of Zubkov's work, with its pastoral subject. The sturdy peasant girls and their troubadour are captured against black lacquer in a delightful melange of the bright colors and glittering gold which Zubkov loved dearly. The figures are painted with a realism seldom seen in Palekh art, while the composition and subject still appear as a favorite of modern artists. This box is made of high quality papier mache and is signed on the lid with the artist's name, village, and date of completion. There is no hinge, and the base is flush, with the phrase,"Made in Russia." There is considerable wear to the lacquer from age, with chipping and wear to the lip of the box body and lid, where they were apparently stuck together. The lacquer above the scene is crackled, but this appears to be a fairly stable surface defect, and does not threaten the painting beneath. An intriguing piece of lacquer art history.--BOX1045

Lacquerbox Condition Ratings

Surface Condition (exterior) Surface Condition (interior/bottom) Box Materials and Soundness Hinge and Lid Placement Signature Total Rating Mother-of-pearl Condition

(Each category rated 1-10. For low scores, look for explanation in the description of box. In general, any total rating over 40 is excellent. For more information on rating system, click here.)

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