Sometimes only one fairy tale is illustrated on the same matryoshka, sometimes on each of the nested dolls we will see heroes of different fairy tales, folk or authors, Pushkin, Ershov, Aksakov, Tolstoy, etc. opens on each of the figures? And, as in the book, the intention of the artist-author is traced, unlike it; there is an open space for children’s imagination.
Russian doll: Architectural painting
Very often, artists paint monuments of architecture on the matryoshka aprons. Such a matryoshka is the best souvenir, it will remind you about visiting this or that place. The ensemble of the Trinity-Sergius Lavra, monuments of architecture of Moscow, Vladimir, Suzdal, Novgorod and many other cities of Russia are often found in the ornament of the matryoshka.
You can often find a matryoshka painted under “Gzhel”, “Zhostovo”, “Khokhloma”, “Palekh”. In other words, the modern matryoshka seems to be concentrating all the richness of the artistic traditions of Russian applied art. If you are interested in DIY then you can opt for the online videos on how to make your own nesting doll with paper cups.
Author’s matryoshka can rightfully be considered a new art form that has enriched the world artistic heritage and has become a desired collectible for museums and private collectors. The matryoshka is a phenomenon of great artistic value, this work is both sculptural and pictorial, and it is the soul and image of Russia.
Malyutin painted dolls in a style that he himself invented. The first nested doll contained eight dolls and represented mother and seven daughters. This toy has survived to the present day and is located in the Toy Museum of Sergiev Posad.
See an article from The Atlantic which mainly talks about Russian doll.
Why is it that the toy was called matryoshka?
The name Matryona was very popular in Russia. It was usually associated with the image of a mother with many children, who had a portly figure far from the standard 90-60-90. Over time, this name acquired a nominal character and was used to refer to brightly colored wooden dolls. The first doll by Sergey Malyutin became the embodiment of the most ancient symbol of Russian culture.
At first, the dolls were made in the Moscow workshop, and after it was closed, the production and demonstration workshops of Sergiev Posad became the center of production.
The appearance of the nested doll at this particular time was not accidental. At that time, the Russian artistic intelligentsia was turning in the direction of works of folk art and folk art. In many houses there are collections associated with folk traditions. But the widespread nesting dolls abroad were promoted by the popularization of all Russian thanks, and now, they are widely sold online like that of nestingdolls.co.
The massive export of nesting dolls
Since 1909, our matryoshka is a regular participant in the Berlin exhibition and the annual handicraft bazaar in London. And thanks to traveling exhibitions organized by the Russian Society of Shipping and Commerce, the matryoshka became a welcome guest in the coastal cities of Greece, Turkey and the countries of the Middle East.
The flowering of this type of folk art was interrupted with the beginning of the construction of socialism in the USSR. In the Soviet Union, where the main emphasis was placed on the industrialization of the entire country, attention to the craft of making wooden dolls was paid minimal. Production of nesting dolls was carried out in state-owned factories. They made dolls according to a certain pattern approved in advance, and it was not recommended to retreat from it. Fabricated dolls produced so much that they were able to organize their export to most countries of the world.
Gorbachev’s perestroika opened the way for artists to express themselves. And they expressed themselves as best they could. Among the heroes of the “matryoshka” trade of the late 1980s, the entire pantheon of Russian and Soviet figures, cartoon characters, fairy tales, appeared, and there was not even any kind of vulgarism. And one of the creators of the USSR Gosplan decided that it was possible to increase production volumes, delegating it to Moldova, Ukraine, the Caucasus and other places. Market matryoshka flooded mediocre crafts. Without native traditions, the matryoshka turned into a simple wooden toy, primitive and simple. True, along with an abundance of consumer goods, the author’s matryoshka appeared an ornament of many Russian and western collections.
Whether we like it or not, the matryoshka is an important artistic event in the culture of Russia. She rightfully took an honorable place in the images and soul of our people.
Despite the variety of today’s assortment, it is already possible to reveal a certain tendency in the formation of the “Matryoshka of the 1990s” style. It is characterized by the elaboration of a suit in pointedly Russian traditions with scarves and shawls based on the famous Pavlovsk. At the same time, both “peasant” and “boyar” styles are equally popular. Do not forget the masters and the original idea of ??the doll in this direction.