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Item #0000101754

The Snow Maiden (c.2002)

from Kholui by A. Kuznetsov
12.00" x 10.00" x 2.00"(30.48 x 25.40 x 5.08 cm)
Inspired by the fairytales:
The Snowmaiden

Gallery Price: $ 2595.00
Internet Price: $ 2350.00
None currently available
With this large and intricate fairy-tale work, Kholui artist Aleksandr Kuznetsov created a true masterpiece. The theme here is the beloved fairy tale of the Snow Maiden. (You can read one version of it here, though the version Kuznetsov uses is a bit different. The Snow Maiden is the daughter of Winter and Spring, and in spite of her parents' warning she goes to live among mortals. One day, a wealthy merchant named Mizgir comes to the village, where both the Snow Maiden and his fiancee, Kupava, live. Mizgir is so smitten by the Snow Maiden that he abandons Kupava for her, but the Snow Maiden is not able to return his feelings. She goes to her mother, Spring, who gives her the ability to love. She returns to Mizgir and for the first time feels true love, but at that moment she melts away in the light of the Sun. This version of the story was made into an opera by the great 19th century composer N. Rimskij-Korsakov.

Kupava shows several vignettes from the story around the surface of the box. On the lower right corner, Mizgir sails into the village in a wealthy ship, and his fiancee, Kupava, waits for him, followed by a crowd of villagers. Behind them, in the house the snow Maiden's adopted parents gesture for her to join the crowd. The top part of the composition shows the climactic scene, when the Snow Maiden begins to dissolve into mist as a result of the warmth of her love. In the background, other villagers celebrate the summer with music and fun. On the right, Spring looks over the scene, extending her hand towards her daughter with a gentle, slightly sad look in her face. Kuznetsov has an interesting style, with a lot of circular forms in his composition and clear, fine lines adding details such as the veins in the countless leaves (each one has been individually drawn), the folds and embroidered decoration on the character's costumes, and the intricate woodcarving and delicate tile roofs of the house. The level of detail here is extremely fine, and the artist filled the entire large composition with the same amount of carefully done work one would expect from a smaller work; it must have taken him a long time to complete this one! Nevertheless, because of his light touch and well-balanced composition, it does not look too "busy". There are some interesting effects created with gold paint in some of the leaves and other background details, that add a jewel-like glow to the rich colors without being overwhelming. The high-quality artwork and large size make this box look very impressive.

The box is made of high-quality papier-mâché, with a hinge and a flat bottom. It is signed with the artist's name, village, and title. Magnificent large box, which would be the centerpiece of any collection, particularly if you admire Kholui art.

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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