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Title: Tale of Tsar Saltan
Artist: Zhiryakov Alexey
Size (inches): 12x10.5x3.75
This large box has been painted by a famous Palekh artist-Alexey Zhiryakov. The box is consist of three large compartments that opens from the top and one drawer on the front side.
The box features several scenes from Pushkin's well-known "Tale of Tsar Saltan".
By the tsar's order, Tsar Saltan's wife and his son, Prince Gvidon, were sealed in the barrel that afterward was thrown into the sea. The barrel landed to a mysterious island. Getting out of the barrel Prince and his mother saw a magnificent palace where they would live later. Then Gvidon has save Princess Swan from an evil bird.
Prince Gvidon, his wife, and his mother meet the ship on the board of which Tsar Saltan is sailing. Tsar Saltan heard much about the mysterious and rich island ruled by Prince Gvidon and his young beautiful wife, and now he has come to know if this island is indeed so rich and beautiful.
The details in this composition expose Zhiryakov as a true Master of his craft! Numerous characters are expressive, and painted with natural expressions. The palette includes yellows, blues, reds and various shades of brown. The work demonstrates a mastery of color combination and fine detail!
The sides of the box are showing major episods of the tale:
On the front side :
1. Prince Gvidon kills the hawk with his arrow to defend the Princess Swan.
2. The navy of Tsar Saltan is going out.
3. Tsar Saltan is listening to travellers about magic island of Buyan.
4. on the right hand side-the very beginning of a tale:
Three fair maidens, late one night,
Sat and spun by candlelight.
"Were our tsar to marry me,"
Said the eldest of the three,
"I would cook and I would bake -
Oh, what royal feasts I'd make."
Said the second of the three:
"Were our tsar to marry me,
I would weave a cloth of gold
Fair and wondrous to behold."
But the youngest of the three
Murmured: "If he married me -
I would give our tsar an heir
Handsome, brave, beyond compare."
5.The whole back side is showing the thirty-three knights with their uncle old Chernomor, rising from the raging sea.
6. the moment when by the tsar's order, Tsar Saltan's wife and his son, Prince Gvidon, were sealed in the barrel that afterward was thrown into the sea.
The entire surface of the box is filled with wondrous details. Gold paint is used to aid in the adding of the detail. The use of gold helps to enhance the already bold palette and bring out their true highlights!
Gold of different shades is also used to decorate the exterior of the box.
The box is constructed out of paper-mache. Black lacquer is used to paint the exterior and red lacquer is used to paint the interior of the box. The box's lids are hinged and the box is rests on four legs. The artists wrote the title, Palekh, 2017, and his name on the middle lid above the composition.