This box is an original masterwork of the outstanding Palekh artist Natalya Kornilova. Its entire surface is covered with colorful paintings (except the exterior bottom) based on the Russian folk fairy-tale "Father Frost" or "Morozko".
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This box is an original masterwork of the outstanding Palekh artist Natalya Kornilova. Its entire surface is covered with colorful paintings (except the exterior bottom) based on the Russian folk fairy-tale "Father Frost" or "Morozko". It tells about a little girl who is sent to the forest on a bitterly cold night by her cruel stepmother. The stepmother intends to kill the girl because she is more beautiful and hardworking than her own daughter. The end of the tale is happy; the girl is rewarded while her stepmother and stepsister are punished.
The scene painted on the box's lid depicts the old man riding troika and carrying his daughter in the sledge. Not long ago he has left her in the forest to die from cold by the order of his cruel wife. Then he changed his mind, and decided to return to the forest and bring his daughter home. When he found the place where he left her, he couldn't believe his eyes! His daughter was alive and dressed in rich, warm clothes...
The box's front side features the familiar moment when Father Frost endows the girl with rich presents. She didn't complain when Father Frost was blowing at her with his frost breathing. For her respectful demeanor and politeness, she gets a fur coat and a box filled with jewels. It's interesting that the artist here depicted Father Frost as a young man but not as an old man.
The box's rear side shows the girl's stepsister who has returned to the village from the forest. Having known that the old man's daughter received rich presents from Father Frost, she also decided to try her luck. But she spoke to Father Frost roughly and demanded more presents than the old man's daughter received. For her greediness and envy, Father Frost gave her the sledge pulled by three pigs and the box with crows inside.
The scenes are painted in the traditional Palekh style. The details are enhanced with gold and aluminum paints. Gold and aluminum paints are also used to paint the attractive patterns that frame the box's lid, and wrap around the bottom part of the box's body.
The box is constructed out of paper-mache. Black lacquer covers the exterior and red lacquer covers the interior of the box. The lid is hinged, and the box sits flat. The work is signed by the artist.
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