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Home > Gallery > Palekh > Under $500

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Title: Tale of the Tsar Saltan
Artist: Maevskaya Tatiana
Size: 14x9x4
Size (inches): 5.5x3.5x1.5
Price : $195 SOLD!


This traditional Palekh box was painted by Tatyana Maevskaya. Here the artist has chosen to depict an episode from the turbulent story entitled, "The Tale of Tsar Saltan". Tatyana Maevskaya is an artist who has come out of the shadow of her famous father, Vladimir Vlezko. She has used what he has taught her about Palekh lacquer art and elevated her style into the elite of the village. She stays within the boundaries of tradition, yet provides a youthful outlook on the folk and fairy tales she chooses to depict.
The composition shows the beginning of the tale when three sisters gossip among themselves as they spin wool. Each tells what she would do if she were to marry Tsar Saltan, the ruler of the kingdom, and available bachelor. Little do they know that the tsar himself is just outside of their gate, overhearing their conversation. The youngest will soon become his bride because of her wise answer: "If I were the tsar's wife I would give birth to a charming child!".
The artist makes the body language and expression of each face very unique. For instance, the tsar appears rather stunned by what he hears in the conversation between the three young women and about their dreams to be a queen. If we examine the image of the girl, sitting nearest to the tsar, we can notice the way she humbly folds her hands. Undoubtedly she is the one that the artist intended to be the tsar's wife. The thoughtful composition of major and supplementary objects causes the viewer's eye to slide from the sitting figures in the middle to the tsar on the left.
The artist makes bold choices of color, which include orange, green, blue, and red. Throughout the scene each color has its own balanced place that creates a strong visual aesthetic. She has been also able to balance the composition by placing elements of nature, like trees, hills, as well as skillfully executed architecture in the background. The detail is added with gold paint, which defines the movement in the clothing, the contours, and the decoration on the characters' clothing. It is also used to detail the landscape and the architecture, but only for added highlight.
The box is made out of paper-mache. Black lacquer covers the exterior and red lacquer covers the interior of the piece. Gold ornamentation frames the composition on the lid and wraps around the sides of the box. The decoration on the sides of the box is much more complex and has aluminum accents. The box has a hinge above the composition and rests on a small platform. It is signed with the artist's name, village and year (2004).

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