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Home > Gallery > Fedoskino > Over $500

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Title: An Organ Grinder
Artist: Wagner Marie
Size: 15x16x5
Size (inches): 6x6.25x2
Price : $650 SOLD!


This original composition was painted by an established Fedoskino artist Marie Wagner.
Here the artist has painted a scene with an Organ Grinder and several noble ladies.
The mechanism of the hurdy-gurdy, a portable mechanical organ, was invented at the end of the XVII century, and already at the beginning of the XVIII it spread throughout Europe, thanks to wandering musicians, who later became known as organ grinders. The name of the instrument came from the most popular song played by all the organ-grinders - "Sharman Katrin" ("Beautiful Katrin").Having appeared as a profession for poor wanderers who do not know how to play any musical instrument, over time playing the hurdy-gurdy turned into an honorable, albeit poorly paid profession.
The instrument could play six to eight melodies when the handle was rotated. Usually the organ-grinders stopped at rich houses and started one uncomplicated song. When the owner of the house got tired of music, he went out and sent the musician home, treating him to selected swearing, bread and small coin. Often the organ grinder walked with a monkey that sat on his shoulder or grinder and pulled out "tickets of happiness" from the box, sometimes a talking parrot made up the musician's company...
It is Summer time and even a bit hot outside because one of the ladies has an opened umbrella over the head!
In the foreground, we can see an organ grinder with a monkey, handing out tickets of happiness, a dog that howls to music and three ladies. Most likely it's mom, daughter and their maid. The ladies came out to the sounds of a hurdy-gurdy, and at the same time just take a walk on a nice sunny day. In the background, the domes of as many as three churches are visible.That may paint that the event is taking place in a rich city, perhaps Moscow or Nizhny Novgorod.
The palette is one commonly used by Wagner. Green, red and blue colours are vivid and bright here. Wagner's style is unique to Fedoskino, and can easily be distinguished from other artists' styles. Aluminum powder combined with the oil paints gives a luminescent quality to the clothing, the city landscape and to the sky in the background. This is a striking composition from all angles.
The box is constructed from paper-mache. The exterior of the box is painted with black lacquer while the interior is completed with dark red lacquer.
A hinge is fastened to the top of the composition. The box rests on a wavy platform with six legs. The work is signed with the artist's name in white oils.

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