2023 Author: Leah Sherlock | [email protected]. Last modified: 2023-08-25 09:26
Bright magnificent flowers: roses, peonies, daisies, forget-me-nots, chrysanthemums and lilies of the valley (it is impossible to list them all), skillfully scattered by the artist's skillful hand on a dark glossy metal surface, is a traditional Zhostovo painting on trays. The unique folk art of Russia, which has no analogues!
The history of the old Russian craft dates back almost 2 centuries, and during this time the products of the Zhostovo masters not only have not lost their popularity and beauty, but, on the contrary, have gained even greater fame all over the world and have been enriched by the innovative ideas of today's young painters.
The origin of Zhostovo crafts
Today, any modern housewife will be happy to receive a real Zhostovo tray as a gift, which can be used not only for its direct utilitarian purpose, but alsoas an original decoration of the kitchen interior. Women in the early 19th century rejoiced in the same way when they were given such beauty.
But it wasn't always like this. The art of Zhostovo painting began to take shape in Russia at the end of the 18th century. The first trays, caskets, snuffboxes, cigarette cases, all kinds of boxes, etc., painted in the technique of lacquer miniature, which were made in the villages of the Moscow district: Ostashkovo, Troitskoye, Novosiltsevo, Sorokino and Zhostovo, date back to that time.
Gradually, the production of trays became a separate channel, and the village of Zhostovo firmly occupied the leading role in their manufacture. By the way, the first trays were made exclusively from papier-mâché. Now it is already difficult for us to imagine a Zhostovo tray made of such a material.
Further development of Zhostov's art
In 1825, the workshop of Osip Filippovich Vishnyakov was opened in Zhostovo. It is from this event that the chronology of the existence of individual folk gesture crafts is conducted. Of course, this workshop was not the only one. Gradually, other artels were organized: Yegor Vishnyakov in the neighboring village of Ostashkovo, A. A. Zaitsev in Troitskoye village. The popularity of their products was huge! The Zhostovo tray sold well in Moscow, St. Petersburg and other cities.
In 1830, several workshops were opened in Zhostovo and neighboring villages, the founders of which were E. F. Belyaev, T. M. Belyaev, F. V. Shapkin, V. L. Leontiev and I. S. Kolomenskoy. Gradually, production increasedproducts for painting began to be made not from papier-mâché, but from a more durable and modern material - iron.
Legendary artists of Zhostov
Gradually a new Zhostovo tray familiar to all of us was born. The history preserved in the regional chronicles tells how more and more local talented peasants gradually became involved in the work of art workshops. It is surprising how many talents turned out to be among ordinary, uneducated serfs. The first master mentioned in the historical document of 1839 was the serf of Count Sheremetyev - Veshnyakov Philip Nikitin, he was engaged in painting trays together with his son. This is how artistic dynasties were born in Zhostovo.
The most famous masters of Zhostovo trays: O. E. Burbyshev (there are legends about this artist in Zhostovo, he was such a virtuoso master), N. M. Tsaplagin, A. E. Vishnyakov, K. V. Gribkov, I. S. Leontiev, D. S. Kledov, P. S. Kurzin, I. A. Saveliev, M. R. Mitrofanov, A. P. Gogin, I. P. Plakhov, B. V. Grafov. All these masters and many others left a deep mark on the art of Zhostov, it was they who created the wonderful works of the Zhostovo miniature, which were included in the golden fund of crafts.
Zhostovo tray - manufacturing technology
The original technology for the production of Zhostovo trays has been polished over the years. The masters have many secrets of the craft, which they are not going to share with anyone. So we can only talk about the manufacturing technology of Zhostov's products in general terms.
As it was beforementioned above, modern trays are made of iron. They can have the most bizarre shape, it all depends on the original intention of the artist. Before painting, the tray must be carefully sanded and covered with a double layer of primer prepared on the basis of soot and kaolin. After that, the workpiece is again polished and covered with several layers of colored varnish. Moreover, each layer must be well dried and also perfectly polished.
Next, the production of Zhostovo trays moves on to the next stage. After all the preparatory work, the product is ready for painting, and the master artist starts further work on it. Zhostovo trays are traditionally painted with oil paints. After its completion, the product is varnished again in several layers, followed by drying and polishing to give the finished tray an almost mirror shine.
Artistic techniques and features of Zhostovo painting
The artistic techniques of Zhostovo painting have their origins in traditional Russian lacquer miniatures, but, of course, they have their own characteristics. The basis can, perhaps, be called a drawing with bright colors on a dark background and the design of the composition with a golden ornament. The background of Zhostovo trays is not necessarily black, it can be of any color: red, brown, green, blue and ocher. Sometimes there are even compositions made on gilding (imitation of gold), mother-of-pearl or a light, almost white background, but this is rather a deviation from the rules dictated by fantasy.artist.
The gesture tray is usually painted in such a way that in the center of the composition (flower bouquet) there are the largest and brightest flowers, which are the main focus. Closer to the edges, the elements of the bouquet become smaller and darker, as if they merge with the background. This achieves visual depth and volume of painting. Zhostovo flowers are not painted from life, most often they are conditional, much in their image depends on the creative imagination of the master.
Main motifs and plots
The main motives of Zhostovo painting, of course, are all kinds of floral motifs, the variety of which is innumerable! Zhostovo painting adheres to several traditional types of composition. Flowers can be collected in large bouquets, consisting of 3-5 inflorescences, depicted in baskets or garlands located around the entire perimeter of the tray.
Sometimes the painting can be supplemented with images of berries, fruits or birds. There are examples of Zhostovo painting, similar to the old precious Dutch still lifes. Despite the fact that the drawing of plants is rather conditional, there are all the signs of easel painting here: careful study of details, general coloring, free improvisation.
Zhostovo trays: how to draw step by step
The whole process of painting a tray can be conditionally divided into 4 stages. First, the so-called "painting" is done: on the product, as it were, a generalized silhouette of the future drawing, the location of the main spots, is thrown with bleached paints.
Followed by "shade" and "laying": the application of transparent shadows and the designation of dense colors of the lightest places. After that, the shape of flowers and leaves becomes more defined.
The third stage is highlighting: applying quick whitening strokes. With their help, all volumes are specified.
And finally, the final 4th stage follows, at which "drawing" and "binding" are performed. With the help of the thinnest brush, the master outlines the contour of each leaf and petal with elastic flexible lines, draws small twigs and details, which are called binding.
Prospects for the development of fisheries
Currently, Zhostovo art crafts are going through hard times. Until the 90s of the last century, the workshops were under the care and funding of the state, after perestroika and the collapse of the Soviet Union, the factory passed into private hands. Now profit has become the focus, but not the preservation of traditions and a creative approach to the craft.
The number of artists at the enterprise has been significantly reduced. Many masters began to work independently, at home. Many private orders are carried out, tailored not only for the Zhostovo tray. Modern masters often work on painting a variety of items: from refrigerators and mobile phones to bottles with expensive collection wine. The influx of talented youth - graduates of FedoskinskySchool of lacquer miniatures has recently decreased. But nevertheless, the enterprise still lives, works with dedication and faith in the future.
How to get to Zhostovo?
For everyone who wants to learn more about the history and art of Zhostov, the enterprise organizes interesting 5-hour excursions with master classes. A shop is constantly open at the factory, where you can buy handicrafts, as they say "hot, hot".
Getting from Moscow to Zhostovo is easy. It is necessary to overcome only 50 km along the Ostashkovsky highway towards the Mytishchi region. You can also easily get there by train or bus. Another option: bus number 438 runs constantly from the Medvedkovo metro station to Zhostovo.
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