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Home > Collection > Mstera > Over $500

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#009716

New!
Title: Mstera's Artist
Artist: Shirokov Anatoliy
Size: 24x18x5.5
Size (inches): 9.5x7x2.25
Price : $1295 SOLD!

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Description:

Mstera, like the four other lacquer Art producing villages, has a mystical quality about it. For some odd reason the land has been inhabited for centuries, if not millennia, by people who are extremely talented artists. During the nearly 1000 years of Orthodox Christianity in Russia, before the Revolution in 1917, Mstera had its own school for iconography. The icons were in very high demand all over the country so it was necessary to organize a group who produced mass quantities of icons quick. There were also those who filled orders from churches in St. Petersburg, Moscow, Vladimir, and Suzdal. However, when communism outlawed icon painting the artists, like those in Palekh and Kholuy, turned to painting miniatures. After all of the turmoil they kept the art, and more importantly the technology, alive, which has paid off since now the artists are free to paint secular and non-secular themes as they please.
This does not stop there. In Mstera the citizens have been witnesses to a few miracles and sightings of the religious kind. Before the monastery, which now stands in Mstera, was built in the 17th century a wooden church stood in its place. It unfortunately burned in a fire, and while the people were trying to save their church a bright light opened up in the sky when the church was beyond saving. There were also instances during the feast of the Baptism when there were visions over the river Tara. One more interesting account was when a few houses caught on fire, in 1914, and nuns from the monastery brought an icon of the Virgin Mary to the sight, prayed, and the fire went out much faster then it should have; the houses were not permanently damaged and the fire did not spread any further.
The palette is a very soft blend of warm and cool pastels that flow around the well-thought out compositional structure. Shirokov, in his paintings, likes to play with the idea of duality in this world. Near the center a Mstera artist (most likely an analogous self-portrait) sits in his study, while just outside his thoughts of Mstera and its fantastical legends opens up to the left. Behind him stands an Angel, which is symbolic since it is said that when an icon painter is painting an Angel is helping move the hand across the wooden canvas. The architecture in the church is set above an overflowing Msterka River during the spring flooding that occurs each year, and adds to the spice of life year in and year out. The organization of the scene flows very smoothly from the artist, then up to the right and in a circular pattern across the top of the scene, and down the sides until the eye returns to the artist and his thoughts. Gold paint is used to add detail and enhance the colors, which gives the scene great clarity and richness.
The box is constructed out of paper-mache made in Mstera. Black lacquer covers the exterior and red lacquer covers the interior of the box. Thin and intricate gold and aluminum ornamentation frames the scene on the lid, while a twin pattern wraps around the sides of the box. The box has a hinge above the composition and rests on four rounded feet. The artist has written Mstera, 2003, and his name under the scene on the lid.
In the middle of the composition there is the inscriptions: "Mstera. The Epiphany Region." A little lower there is the quatrain:
"The Russian Face of Mstera,
Has been created by many talented artists,
Its face is encircled with the gold ring,
It shines like a diamond!




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