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Muza Art

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Wonderful Palekh miniature

Wonderful Palekh miniature

Wonderful Palekh miniature


Palekh miniature is a Russian national craft developed in the village of Palekh, Ivanovo region. Lacquer miniature is done with tempera paints on papier-mâché. Usually, caskets, jewel boxes, brooches, panels, ashtrays, tie clips, needle beds are painted.
The village of Palekh in the Ivanovo region is the birthplace of the Palekh painting. The village was famous for its icon painters during Peter I’s rule. At the beginning of the 19th century the masters were engaged in monumental painting, painted churches and cathedrals.
In 1918, the Palekh Artel, which was engaged in painting on wood, was created. Plots for Palekh miniatures are borrowed from everyday life, literary works and the Slavic mythology.
The Palekh miniature managed to preserve the age-old traditions of icon painting and transfer them to new forms and to fill with other content.

After the October Revolution, until 1923, most of the masters in Palekh remained without work. Someone left to look for money in the city, some tried to make toys, dishes or weave bast shoes. Until 1923, several attempts were made to adapt former icon painters to the decoration of caskets, children’s toys and wooden utensils. However, it did not work. The date when the Palekh lacquer miniature was created should be considered the end of 1922, the beginning of 1923. Artist Ivan Ivanovich Golikov was the founder of the Palekh painting. He was the first to do the work in “Palekh style”. Golikov created the composition Adam in Paradise on black papier-mâché. The leadership of the Handicraft Museum (today – the Museum of Folk Art) was interested in this work. The works created by I.V. Markitchev, A.V. Kotukhin, I.P. Vakurov and I.I. Golikov were shown at the All-Russian Art and Industrial Exhibition in Moscow in 1923 and were awarded a diploma of the 1st degree. In 1924, artists exhibited their works at an exhibition in Venice, and in 1925 in Paris, where they made a real furor and enjoyed great success. On December 5, 1924 the artists created the Artel of ancient painting in Palekh.

Wonderful Palekh miniature

Illustrations by Palekh artists

The State Museum of Palekh Art