This superb piece was painted by famous Kholui Master Mikhail Veselov. Mikhail's works are easily recognizable in the construction of the scene and the way he works his palette. Today his pieces find themselves in Museums throughout Russia and in private collections around the World!
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This large box features one of the most popular Russian rulers, Alexander Nevsky. Born on May 30 of 1220 Alexander Nevskiy inherited his father's political wisdom and desire to unite the feuding Russian principalities. From his mother's ancestors he inherited courage and compassion.
As a young man Alexander was sent out by his father to rule the old Russian city of Novgorod where the kind courageous and reasonable Prince quickly became famous among the local populace. The adolescent Prince found himself faced with terrible responsibilities. The following year occurred the great Mongol invasion in the east and the Teutonic knights were threatening Russia from the west. By that time Novgorod was already one of the biggest and richest cities in Europe. The enemy hoped that their surprise attack would take the city flatfooted and was anticipating an easy victory and lavish booty. Reviewing his troops before coming up with the enemy, Alexander addressed his men with a phrase, an allusion to the Psalms, which has remained famous: "We are few and the enemy is strong. But God is not on the side of force, but of the just case. Fear not the enemy for God is with us!" Alexander was only 20 years old when he uttered those fateful words. Faced with terrible responsibilities, Alexander stood the test just perfectly. Sneaking up on the sleeping enemy the Russians caught the Swedes unawares. The main body of the Swedish army had not yet disembarked and their horses were out grazing in the surrounding fields. The battle fought in the mouth of the Neva River raged late into the night. By the time the moon came out the enemy had been completely routed. That grand victory won on the banks of the Neva River earned Prince Alexander the name of Nevsky (Alexander of the Neva) by which he is known to history.
Alexander's fame as a warrior and savior of his people is best remembered in the Lake Chudskoye battle fought in 1242 against the Knights of the Teutonic Order who acted in concert with the Swedes. On April 5 Alexander Nevsky confronted the enemy on the ice of the frozen Lake Peipus (Chudskoye). The steel-clad Teutons drove a wedge through the lines of the lightly-armored Russian troops. At the very height of the fierce battle the ice gave in under the Teutons' weight and the unwieldy knights started going under one after another... By nightfall the fearsome Teutonic army had ceased to exist.
Alexander Nevsky died at a monastery in November 1263. "The sun has set over the land of Suzdal!" exclaimed Metropolitan Cyril in announcing to the dismayed people the death of the man who had four arduous diplomatic missions to the Golden Horde and dozens of major battlefield victories behind his back. Alexander Nevsky's funeral took place with great solemnity and his remains are now in St.Petersburg, the city on the Neva where, by the whim of Fate, he scored his first victory.
The box is constructed from quality paper-mache. Black lacquer covers the exterior and red lacquer covers the interior of the box. The box is hinged from the left of the scene, and rests on four legs.
The artist has signed the work with his name, the title -Alexander Nevsky, the year of 2020, and the village of Kholui at the bottom of the scene. He did the same on the lid's interior but added that this work is his original artistic creation and his cursive signature.
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