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Home > Gallery > Palekh > Over $500

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Title: Card-sharper
Artist: Bakalov Sergey
Size: 15.5x10.5x4
Size (inches): 6x4.25x1.5
Price : $720 SOLD!


This elegantly shaped box painted by the talented Palekh artist Bakalov S. features a rare theme in lacquer miniature painting. Three gamblers sit in the tavern, drink beer and play cards. One of them tries to cheat his friends during this game but fails. The young man painted in the middle discovers the trickery, throws his cards on the floor, and starts to blame the card-sharper painted in the left part of the composition. Their friend painted in the right part of the composition pulls the offended man by the edge of his coat trying to prevent a fight.
The palette is based on bold combinations of green, red, and brown tones. Gold and aluminum paints add various details throughout the scene. The composition is complex. It includes four scrupulously painted human figures, and detailed interior of the tavern. Judging from the characters' costumes and surrounding setting the action takes place in the end of the eighteenth century or in the beginning of the foregone twentieth century. The characters looks like gold diggers who spent on drink or lost during different gambling games all their money. The interior of the room is painted very thoroughly. Different elements of its décor such as candles, the picture, the clock, the head of a deer, etc. not only enriches the composition, but also help to create its depth.
The scene is framed with a thick gold line. Intricate gold ornamentation wraps around the sides of the box.
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 lid is hinged from the top of the composition and the box rests on a wavy platform. Signed with the artist's name, the village (Palekh), and the title ("Card-Sharper") at the bottom of composition.

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