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Title: Tale of Ruslan and Ludmila
Artist: Surkova Tatiana
Size: 22.5x15.5x6.5
Size (inches): 8.75x6x2.5
Price: $1650 $1350

This box has been painted by established Palekh artist, Tatiana Surkova.
This scene is a great sample of outstanding technical and artistry skills.
The box depicts several scenes from the Pushkin's fairy-tale "Ruslan and Ludmila". The method of combining several scenes helps the artist to tell a complex story in one image. The hero of the tale, Ruslan, is in the center, on a horse, Ludmila is staying near by to the right. Ruslan is standing outside the walls of the wizard Chernomor's impressive palace. Inside, his kidnapped fiancee, Ludmila, is held prisoner. Chernomor himself is flying in the left upper corner and his very long beard is fluttering around him. The wizard hastens to see who is making the horn call outside his gates. In the left side we can see another scene from the tale. It shows the Giant Head. Ruslan must defeat the Head in order to retrieve the blade. With that blade Ruslan must cut the magic out from within the beard of Chernomor. In the right lower corner we can see the wise and equally mysterious Finn. The Finn will grant Ruslan the knowledge he needs in order to defeat the magic of Chernomor.
The artist fills the scene with lots of action and details. The palette is quite diverse and she uses yellow, orange and red tones to define the characters and the architecture, while dark greens are used for the depiction of a surrounding landscape. The lines are all precisely drawn and the figures well decorated. Gold is used to enhance the detailing, as is aluminum in subtle amounts. The composition is filled with a life force that the artist creates with expert transitioning, brushwork, and overall flow of the action in the scene.
The box is made of paper-mache. Black lacquer is used to paint the exterior of the piece while red lacquer completes the interior of the box. The lid is hinged from the top of the composition. The box is rests flat. Gold scrollwork frames the composition with an intricately managed design. A more intricate ornamentation pattern wraps around the sides of the box. It is signed with the village of Palekh, title "Ruslan at the Castle of Chernomor", artist's name and year (2016).

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