Talented Palekh artist Natalie Kornilova has painted this complex and detailed composition. It features several scenes from the popular Russian story entitled "The Tale of Tsar Saltan".
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The composition is consist of several small scenes and the scenes appear to blend into one another. Here we can see Prince Gvidon and his mother who by chance found themselves in the wondrous island. They had been slandered, and by the cruel order of Tsar Saltan they had been sealed into the barrel and thrown into the sea. Fortunately, the barrel was washed ashore, and soon Gvidon became the ruler of the rich island. The next scene features Tsar Saltan sailing to Gvidon's island. The following scene shows Gvidon standing in front of his magnificent palace.The last scene depicts all three wonders of the magic island: the magic squirrel that shells golden nuts, the thirty-three Warriors of the Sea, and the beautiful Princess Swan. The scene painted on the box's lid shows the happy end of the story: the family is reunited, and the sumptuous feast is arranged to celebrate this occasion.
Each of the scenes are well-done, painted in a traditional Palekh style. The drawing is quite fine, with small details in the characters' faces and costumes, some architecture and the landscape. The scenes are richly enhanced with gold and aluminum paints that add a rich brightness to the work.
The painting is framed with an ornament painted in gold paints, and the box's sides are decorated with more rich ornamentatio with additional silver paint.
The box is constructed out of a paper-mache. The lid is hinged on top and the box rests on a flat bottom. The exterior of the piece is painted with black lacquer and interior is painted with red lacquer. The artist wrote his name and the village name of Palekh along the bottom of the lid's composition in gold paint.
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