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Home > Gallery > Palekh > Under $500

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Title: Tale of Oleg the Wise
Artist: Vlezko Vladimir
Size: 16x13x3.5
Price : $370 SOLD!


This wonderful piece of art of museum quality has been painted by the outstanding Palekh artist Vladimir Vlezko. The composition entitled "Oleg the Wise" is based on "The lay of the Wise Oleg ", a poem by A. Pushkin, written in 1822 and based on a chronicle cited in the first volume of Nikolai Karamzin's "History of the Russian State". Duke Oleg is one of the most famous legends and heroes of heathen Russia. He was the Duke of a small town under the Novgorod principality. He was a noble and wise ruler, so much so that the Boyars in 882 invited him to share the rulership of Kiev, the capital of the biggest and the strongest principality of Russia. Once Duke Oleg met a soothsayer who predicted that his death would be caused by his favorite steed. Duke deeply loved his faithful steed and friend but after this prophecy he ordered the horse to be taken to the Royal Stable never to be ridden by the duke again. As the years passed Oleg reminisced about his glorious battles, decided to look for the remains of his beloved horse. After finding the bones and skull of his favorite horse he began crying realizing his faithful steed was gone forever. Just as he started crying the prophecy was fulfilled with a poisonous snake that slithered from the horse's skull and bit Oleg the Wise, which made him drop dead instantly. Mysteriously, the legend of Duke Oleg dwells in the south of Russia, ancient and present.
The composition shows three separate scenes. In the foreground the artist depicts Oleg the Wise, surrounded with the warriors of his troop. The snake is shown wrapping around Oleg's leg, an artistic symbol that his fate is secure. Just in front of him the scull of his faithful steed is depicted. In the background, to the left of the central scene, the artist depicts the soothsayer who predicts the fatal death of Oleg; and to the right of the central scene the artist paints Oleg the Wise, who caresses his steed and the warriors of his troop.
This composition is painted using age-old icon painting elements. One of these is to paint numerous scenes, which are taking place at different times, into one composition. It forces the artist to make each scene flow seamlessly in and out of one another. The palette is very bright and bold. It is based on different shades of green, blue, red and brown. Gold and aluminum paints are used extensively to add detail to this scene. The gold allows the colors that surround it to be amplified, which makes the scene very bright and full of life. The aluminum is used in lesser amounts, but gives off the same intricate feeling as the gold does. A whirlwind of movement is defined by the swirling tails and manes of the horses, as well as the flying cloaks of the characters. The majority of the brushwork here has been done with a single-hair brush, and the effect is stunning. Detail reigns throughout the scene, from the trees in the background to the armor of Oleg.
Vladimir Vlezko's mastery is at an all time high. This scene is a work of great skill and technical prowess. His artistry finds itself in Palekh's upper echelon, and it seems like he is only improving. There is no telling how spectacular his following works will be, but judging by this they are guaranteed to be special.
Gold scrollwork frames the scene on the lid, while gold ornamentation wraps around the sides of the box with aluminum accents. The decoration on the sides has a floral pattern and is the perfect aesthetic addition to the work as a whole.
The box is made out of paper-mache. Black lacquer covers the exterior and red lacquer covers the interior of the box. The box has a hinge above the composition and rests on a small platform. It is signed with the name of the artists, village and year (2003).

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