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Item #0000100860

The Snow Maiden (2002)

from Palekh by Mikhail Nebogatov
Dimensions:
4.50" x 4.50" x 5.50"(11.50 x 11.50 x 14.00 cm)
Inspired by the fairytales:
The Snowmaiden
Gallery Price: $ 2395.00
Internet Price: $ 1995.00
None currently available
Main Product Image
The story of the Snow Maiden is one of the most popular and well-loved of all Russian fairy tales, and here it is wonderfully brought to life on this gorgeous Palekh box. The artist is Mikhail Nebogatov, an individual with a great talent for creating beautiful traditional miniatures. This work is one of the most memorable traditional Palekh works that we've seen, and everything about it, from the fine miniature painting to the elegant shape of the box, is excellent.

Nebogatov draws from a different version of the Snow Maiden story than is represented in our library: here, she is the daughter of Winter and Spring, who warn her that she can never feel love, or she will melt. The Snow Maiden then goes to live in a small village, and shyly she begins to make friends. She ultimately falls in love with a young lad named Lel, and when her heart feels the warmth of this emotion, she melts away. Nebogatov chooses to depict several scenes from the story around the sides of the box. One of the characteristics of Palekh art, derived from icon painting, is a non-linear depiction of events and a freedom with space and time. The same character might appear several times in the same drawing, and there is no strict linear progression of events.

Nebogatov makes effective use of this characteristic of his village's art, giving a fresh interpretation to the familiar tale of the Snow Maiden. The lid shows the Snow Maiden with her parents, Winter and Spring, and the sides show various events of the story, such as the Snow Maiden's participation in some celebrations with other young villagers, her falling in love with Lel, and her melting in the sun's rays. On each panel, the drawing is exquisite. Nebogatov lavishes a great deal of attention to the most minute details. Each of the characters, even the small background figures, is very expressive and helps bring a lyrical quality to the composition. Nebogatov uses a fairly delicate palette, with spring greens and pastel colors predominating many scenes, and this combined with the delicate lines and brushstrokes infuses each drawing with an airy, light quality. Fine gold and silver lines throughout each scene add radiance to the work.

The box is made of high-quality papier-mache. It has two parts: the top joint, including the sides with the drawings, and the base, a shorter piece with gracefully concave sides. Each section has a separate compartment, covered with traditional red lacquer. The exterior features several fine and neatly drawn ornaments in gold and aluminum paint, which add to the elegant appearance of the box. The box is signed with the name of the artist, village and year (2002). If you have been looking for a truly exceptional traditional Palekh work, this box would be an excellent acquisition.--BOX1365

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
9.59.510.010.010.049N/A

(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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