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Home > Gallery > Fedoskino > Over $500

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Title: Merchant's Feast
Artist: Butsinskaya Irina
Size: 28.5x21.5x8
Size (inches): 11.25x8.5x3.25
Price : $2350 SOLD!


Radiating with the brilliance of mother-of-pearl and wonderful oil paints, this large box painted by Butsynskaya Irina is a reproduction of an oil-on-canvas painting by Russian artist Konstantin Makovskiy (1839-1915). A popular but always exquisite composition, this can be a highlight of any collection!
The most notable figure of Russian academism (of the age of Realism), Makovskiy painted situational scenes from the daily life of ancient Russia. Along with the other painters involved in the "Wanderers" Movement, he painted common people without any social commentary. He was also well known for his myriad of portraits and images in which he artistically embodied characteristic representations of "beautiful life." Though not always in favor with critics, his popularity extended all the way to the top of Russia's nobility, as he was the favorite artist of Tsar Alexander III. Konstantin's painting "The Boyar's Wedding" (1883) is part of an extensive collection of Russian works held in the Hillwood Museum and Gardens in Washington, D.C., which was founded by Marjorie Merriweather Post.
This large (93" x 154") painting depicts one of the most important social and political events of old Russia, a wedding uniting two families of the powerful boyar class that dominated Muscovite politics in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. The artist has singled out that moment during the wedding feast when the guests toast the bridal couple with the traditional chant of "gor'ko, gor'ko," meaning "bitter, bitter," a reference to the wine, which has supposedly turned bitter. The newlywed couple must kiss to make the wine sweet again (this tradition continues even today). The toast occurs towards the end of the feast when a roasted swan is brought in, the last dish presented before the couple retires.
As noted in I. Ukhanova's book RUSSIAN LACQUERS - 200 ANNIVERSARY OF THE LUKUTIN WORKSHOPS , the first appearances of "The Boyar's Wedding" on lacquer miniature were from the Lukutin Workshops, fairly quickly after the original painting was complete.
Irina Butsynskaya has wonderfully entwined the realism of Makovskiy with the magical beauty of Fedoskino miniature. She has mixed brightly colored oil paints with crushed mother-of-pearl that shines through the areas where the windows are depicted. Gold metal leaf and aluminum powder help to accentuate richness of the characters' costumes. The shimmering of the tray, plates, samovars, the chest painted in the left bottom corner, and the candle painted over it, is achieved with the help of aluminum powder. The wispy veil of the bride has been depicted with transparent paints, and hundreds of individual brushstrokes make up the fur of the nobles' coats in the foreground. Shading and color variation, although not readily noticeable, add tremendous realism to the composition. The artist has taken advantage of the original positioning of each of the characters facing the newlyweds, and has painted each face with extreme life-like detail and expression.
The box is constructed from paper-mache. Black lacquer is used to paint the exterior of the box while red lacquer completes the interior of the work. The box's exterior is decorated with intricate gold ornamentation. The lid is hinged from the top of the composition and the box rests on a flat bottom. Signed with the artist's name, the year of 2006 and the village (Fedoskino).

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