The Artists of Fedoskino

Nadezhda Viktorovna Bychkova was born in Kharkov in 1958. She graduated from the Faculty of the Decorative Art, Moscow Technological Institute. Between 1982 and 1988, Bychkova worked in the Fedoskino Factory of Miniature Painting. A member of the Union of Russian Artists, Bychkova is residing and working in Moscow.

In contrast to the majority of artists trained in the Fedoskino school, Nadezhda Bychkova was educated in the Moscow Technological Institute. She resides in Moscow, but for many years has been coming to the factory in Fedoskino. There she met Gennady Larishev, forming a relationship which has proved of great importance in her subsequent artistic live.

Nadezhda Bychkova works as an independent miniature painter. Her works are dominated by folklore and Gospel themes. Nadezhda's work conveys her ideals and the values important to a woman: love, maternity and faith. Valentina Smolenskaya recalls the important role the classes at the Larishev studio played in her life. She recalls the creative workshops, meetings with actors and poets, and the viewing of rare films. Because the artistic development of many of these artists occurred during Soviet times when art was rigidly managed by the Communist Party administration, the Larishev studio was instrumental in expanding the creative horizons of many young artists, giving them confidence in the value of their work.

to the top

Serghei Ivanovich Kozlov (born 1955) spent his childhood in the ancient town of Dmitrov near Moscow. His teachers in the Fedoskino Art School were G.I. Larishev and P.S. Davydov. Beginning 1976 Kozlov has been working in the Fedoskino Factory. A member of the Union of Russian Artists and winner of the National Prize of Russia, Serghei Kozlov is residing and working in Fedoskino.

Serghei Kozlov is one of the most spectacular artists of present-day Fedoskino. The quality reflected in his miniatures is not quiet and thoughtful, but rather lush and solemn, displayed in the shine of gold and mother-of-pearl. The sun has coloured the sky with gold, and gold reflects from the surfaces of the river and sparkles on the snow, as thousands of its rays are refracted through the misty frost on the branches of the trees. The fineness of the drawing, the exquisite and composed palette, and the virtuousity of painting over mother-of-pearl excite general admiration. The recognizable scenes of the village environs are rendered symbolically.
A similar approach to imagery can be seen in Kozlov's architectural landscapes. A black lacquer box with monochromatic scenery of the Marfino estate — a Gothic castle, pond, elegant churches — becomes a miniature monument to the culture of Russian nobility.

The Trinity-St Serghiy Monastery (The Troitse-Serghieva Lavra) miniature is quite different. The piece is a hymn to the Russian Orthodox faith, a hymn to architects who created magnificent architectural monuments, and a hymn to lush baroque style. The gold of the cupolas is matched by the golden shining of the skies. The scene is dominated by the figures of three angels, symbolizing the Holy Trinity.

Of particular importance in works by Kozlov are miniatures dedicated to Saint Petersburg. Graphic silhouettes of palaces are featured on several boxes. The black-white drawing of characteristic conventionality enriched with a silver-blue hue portrays magnificent buildings and embankments, as well as sailing vessels gliding over the surface of the Neva River. The effect recalls engraved 18th century cityscapes of the young Russian capital.

to the top

Alla Anatolyevna Kozlova was born in Dmitrov in 1958 into an artist's family. In the Fedoskino Art School, Kozlova's teacher was the famous master P.I. Plakhov. She studied miniature painting in the Fedoskino Art Factory under the guidance of G.I. Larishev and S.I. Kozlov. Kozlova is a member of the Union of Russian Artists.

The invariably attractive features of works by Alla Kozlova are an elegance of drawing, love for the light, tender colouring and wide use of decorative mother-of-pearl effects. Her miniatures create the atmosphere of a festival. Her characters are careless and resemble hilarious dolls, whether the Czar Saltan from the Golden Cockerel, or young northern beauties listening to the shepherd's music, or rosy maidens of the 19th century circling on the ice of the frozen Neva River in the centre of Saint Petersburg. All these images are a sincere expression by the artist, reflecting her state of mind as she creates a hilarious and fanciful performance.

to the top

Aleksei Viktorovich Korchagin (born 1960) came to Fedoskino from the near-Moscow town of Reutovo. His teachers in the Fedoskino Art School were the artists S.V. Monashov and G.I. Larishev. A member of the Union of Russian Artists, Korchagin is residing and working in Fedoskino.

Aleksei Korchagin is engaged in continual creative experiments. He seems enchanted by the ancient Lukutin articles, by their beauty and elegance of form, their fine painting and the charm of their scenes. To this artist, ancient lacquer articles remain the standard of technical craftsmanship and artistic taste, for he says he is trying to revive lost methods of decoration, especially the technique of gilded embossment In contrast to the old masters of antiquity this artist does not use gold, but rather works with modern pastes and paints. He is certain this alteration does not diminish the quality or integrity of his finished work. Korchagin not only paints miniatures, but also makes his own papier-mache blanks in accordance with the design of his work. His studio is stacked with racks of books and blanks to be used in future creations.

Korchagin portrays a wide range of events: ancient and modern, pan-human and profoundly personal, funny and tragic The box Flight to Egypt depicts the Holy Family. Mary, riding a donkey, is tenderly embracing the Infant. Joseph is walking along, his face is sad and perhaps reflecting impending doom. He is dressed as a poor pilgrim, as in the Russian pictures of the 19th century, and he is wearing boots and carrying a linen bag over his shoulder and a bundle fixed to a stick The entire composition, including the browsing donkey, is bound by a triangle; hence, the movement of the pilgrims is balanced within the small space of the lid Gold and black lacquer stresses the sensation of eternity which is the chosen theme, as well as the theme of family love and concern for the lives of one other.

The work Art Board is quite different The subject of this painting is an important event in the life of every artisan as the process by which artistic works are selected for exhibition. Portrayed on the top in a grotesque manner are members of the art board discussing the advantages of a piece of art placed on an easel. The lateral walls of the box portray two related events: in one, agitated artists are seen going to the meeting of the art board, while in the other, after the unpleasant procedure is over, they are pictured gathering together to drink a glass of beer and discuss their art problems. The miniature characters undoubtedly are prototypes of real life individuals who can be readily identified, including the artist Korchagin himself, his hair typically pulled back in a ponytail.

Another important Korchagin work is a miniature inspired by the famous author Mikhail Bulgakov, titled Master and Margaret. The novel referred to develops within several eras and conveys several realities, as illustrated in the paintings. The lateral sides illustrate the life of Moscovites in the 1930s, including narrow Moscow streets, a tramway, and comical little people in baggy clothes hurrying down the street They are painted monochromatically, in grey-white colours against a blue background, and resemble shadows. The artist portrays their faces and movements in grotesque manner, using an air of fantastic exaggeration similar to the tone of the novel. The string of people and running dogs seem a peculiar decoration. The box lid features a mystical scene, including all the evil spirits who appear in the novel, especially the Cat Begemot, Voland, and Margaret, all rushing out toward the night sky to behold a shining moon. Opening the lid, one finds a scene of the crucifixion of Christ The extended figures of sorrowful people, the light ochre-red palette, and all the details stress the elevation and significance of the sacred event. In this way, the artist emphasises the reality of Christian values and affirms their priority over vanity and mysticism.

to the top

German Gennadyevich Larishev was born in Fedoskino in 1963. His parents, Gennady Larishev and Margareta Larisheva, were miniature painters. German's teachers of miniature painting were S. V. Monashov and G.I. Larishev. German Larishev has been working in the Fedoskino Factory since 1984. He is a member of the Union of Russian Artists.

Fedoskino masters are accustomed to handing down their skills in miniature painting to their children. So is the case with German Larishev. Gennady Larishev often took his son, German, along on his painting trips. Together with his father's students, German, still a young boy, could be found hard at work, patiently drawing old monasteries and fortress towers. He familiarized himself with the unique architecture of ancient Russian cities and this interest later became the main theme of his painting.

The miniatures by German Larishev are a gallery of images of Russian sights: the Cathedral of the Moscow Kremlin, Saint Isaac Cathedral in Saint Petersburg, the Sheremetyev Palace in Ostanldno. Travelling widely, German makes sketches of architectural monuments and seeks to render them in unexpected angles and to represent them anew in his miniatures. He is also attracted by the ingenuous beauty of small towns, as in these quiet snow-covered streets of Uglich, lined with old merchant houses.

to the top

Marina Serafimovna Rogatova was born in the near-Moscow town of Mytishchi in 1962. Her teachers were S.V. Monashov and G.I. Larishev. Since 1982 she hasbeen working in the Fedoskino Factory. A member of the Union of Russian Artists, Rogatova is residing and working in Kryukoyo.

Kryukovo is home to Serghei and Marina Rogatov. At their home, Serghei and Marina maintain a garden. All summer long it is full of the fragrance of the magnificent flowers grown by Marina. She skillfully adorns the interior of their home with bouquets of these flowers. Her love of plants is reflected in much of her artistic output. Floral motifs serve as a basis for a number of her compositions. She gives particular attention to rich decor when painting a scene. Following the traditions of Lukutin artists, she carefully selects an individualized design for each new idea. Occasionally, however, she must plan her compositions in reverse, beginning with the shape or design of the chosen box if it seems to demand a particular kind of genre or composition. In one case, a mother-of-pearl chequered inlay suggested to her the theme of chess play, leading her to paint a handsome cavalier and a lady in fancy dress deep in thought over a checkerboard.

Another box painting features a card game, and its plot was inspired by the Pushkin story Queen of Spades. The ominous Queen of Spades, precursor of misfortunes and symbol of doom, is in the centre of the miniature. On the right, mingling with the card kings and queens, is the poet himself, trying to look into the future by means of cards. The finished box is covered with exquisite rococo design, reviving the atmosphere of Saint Petersburg high society and the fashionable salons of the 19th century.

In her genre miniatures, Marina draws from fantasies about ancient Russian life, and features fairy tale motifs. The box Fairy Tales by Alexander Pushkin is shaped like a tower-chamber and embellished with designs in numerous mother-of-pearl inlays. On the lid, the miniature painting features The learned Tomcat, who is telling fairy tales amid the golden branches of the oak. On the lateral side, Prince Ruslan is viewed in the sky, fighting the evil wizard Chernomor. And once again, there is Pushkin, wearing a top hat, holding a cane, and mingling among his numerous characters, as if watching them.

to the top

Serghei Sergheyevich Rogatov was born in Fedoskino in 1955 into the family of minature painters. He studied in the Fedoskino Art School under G.I. Larishev and P.S. Davydov. Since 1974 he has been working in the Fedoskino Factory. He is a member of the Union of Russian Artists.

Kryukovo is home to Serghei and Marina Rogatov. Serghei Rogatov is a representative of a large family of Fedoskino artists. His grandfather worked in a private shop manufacturing figured trays. His father, Serghei Rogatov, became an artist of the Fedoskino factory as early as 1939 and, at the age of 80, still remains at work as one of its oldest craftsmen. Brothers and nephews of Serghei also work as miniature painters.

Serghei himself sometimes compares the emergence of his artistic images to the birth of a melody. Just as a tune sounding in his mind compels him to strum its notes on a guitar, a new artistic idea prompts him to take up a brush and apply brushstrokes. On the box My Village Kryukovo, Serghei portrays the surroundings of his quaint street. It is a winter day. Standing under an old linden tree are Serghei and Marina. Their pet dog is lying at their feet. People, animals, birds and nature abound, and everything is in harmony. The serenity and silence of this setting, the beauty of their surroundings, gives rise to many of the images on his other lacquer miniatures.

One of the main themes of Serghei's painting is the fabled past of his native land. His landscapes feature mysterious water expanses and ancient Russian boats, and in this featured painting we see a red bird flying to the sun. The cloud over the ancient city is pictured as a fearsome dragon. The artist's favorite images are the hills surrounded by
rivers and lakes, lonely churches on islands, pointed spruce-trees, and bizarre clouds on a golden sky.

His miniatures reflect other unique qualities. In fact, it is difficult to interpret Serghei's miniatures unequivocally. His paintings reflect a conventional world, yet one where each of the fabled characters faces his or her own unique fate.

The miniature George the Victor features a peculiar version of the mythological plot. There is no fearsome dragon, nor does the night prince appear. A young chap on horseback sees a snake crawling up toward the houses and kills this source of impending evil, as if without much thought He does not appear to regard this act as a "deed." Nor do his fellow villagers seem impressed by this "miracle": rather, they appear to be fully engaged in their everyday affairs. Nevertheless, the artist gives us a poetic image of a people's defender. The symbolism of the portrayed event is stressed only through colour. In contrast to the dark colour surrounding the snake, the remaining scene is enveloped in golden light, including the background which features golden scenery and an austere church silhouette.

The miniature After a Promenade pictures amusing figures of three friends dawdling along a road lined with village houses. The background is green grass and bright sky. The people in the scene are reminiscent of the wandering pilgrims of Russian folk tales. One can imagine that these three chaps, depicted on Serghei Rogatov's box, are typical of other wandering pilgrims with the same type of tipsy and good-natured demeanor. Perhaps, they are on their way from Zhostovo to Kryukovo to meet other acquaintances in their search for another party.

to the top

Vyacheslav Alekseyevich Svyatchenkov was born in a near-Moscow village of Vostryakovo in 1954. His teachers in the Fedoskino Art School were N.G. Marchukov and G.I. Larishev. Since 1979, Svyatchenkov has been working in the Fedoskino .Factory. He is residing in Fedoskino.

The landscapes by Vyacheslav Svyatchenkov are light and transparent. The artist is striving to convey a tremulous state of nature: in the dusk, the silhouette of dark trees becomes openwork against the background of the light sky. The winter forest, with snow hanging from the branches, reflects a fairy tale beauty. Miniatures by Svyatchenkov typically show a river bank with still, unfrozen water, snowy hills, trees touched with snow ; nd frost, and the serenity and calm of nature.

Outwardly, his landscapes are very simple, yet the artist expends much time and spiritual force in their creation. The representation of a landscape on a lacquered article cannot be compared to a landscape on canvas or to art photography. The Fedoskino miniature is governed by its own laws, the laws of decorating a three-dimensional piece. The composition of the landscape will always be internally bound. A river cannot flow beyond the scene; the movement of a curved bank is arrested by hills and shrubs; the rendering of an image is based on an alternation of planes and is stretched upward. Therefore, a precise drawing from nature can never be expected on the surface of a lacquer piece.

Svyatchenkov approaches nature in a unique way. He reports that he is a fishing addict, and describes the gratification he experiences when standing for hours in his water boots waiting for ides — huge fish with golden sides shining in the sun — to swim up to his feet. In his artistic work, he seeks to convey a similar shining reflection. He first makes numerous sketches — perhaps a particular spruce tree that he has admired, or a bush with bright autumn colours. All these details become a part of his miniatures. In the words of this artist, as he describes his composition process, each landscape is to be completed like a literary story.

to the top

Valentina Konstantinovna Smolenskaya was born in Moscow in 1954. She graduated from the Art Faculty of the Moscow Technological Institute. Between 1977 and 1983 she worked in the Fedoskino Factory. Currently, Smolenskaya is a lecturer in the Moscow State University of Service and a member of the 'Union of Russian Artists.

In contrast to the majority of artists trained in the Fedoskino school, Valentina Smolenskaya was educated in the Moscow Technological Institute. She resides in Moscow, but for many years has been coming to the factory in Fedoskino. There she met Gennady Larishev, forming a relationship which has proved of great importance in her subsequent artistic live.

Valentina Smolenskaya, living in Moscow, feels the difficulty of being separated from the Fedoskino art world. The patchiness of the city's artistic life, coupled with the hectic life of this capital city, seems antithetical to the mood required for the creation of lacquer miniatures. Hence, she has become fond of visiting Fedoskino and tries to spend summers there, observing nature and communicating with artist friends and colleagues.

Her colourful multi-figured composition Shrovetide Festivities offers a detailed record of a folk festival. The centre of the composition is a group of travelling actors. The plot of the actor's performance is the devil trying to join pious people for a feast until a guardian angel strikes him with a spear. Surrounding the stage are a group of spectators, including aristocrats, merchants and common people. Other details of this open-air theatrical event include gaffs, an ice hill, guisers, pie and pancake sellers.
The miniature Glory 1812 was created to commemorate the heroic events of the Patriotic War against Napoleon. It is difficult to determine the genre of this work — one finds here an architectural landscape with the Ivan the Great Bell Tower in Moscow, a portrait of the field marshal Kutuzov, as well as the elements of war life. Also present in the artistic scheme are the use of etching and a popular print conveying the atmosphere of the epoch. The artist merges all these elements, creating the effect of a collage in order to convey her overall theme in an expressive manner.

to the top

Yelena Yuryevna Khomutinnikova was born in Fedoskino in 1957 into the family of Yu.P. Khomutinnikov, former Director of the Fedoskino Factory of Miniature Painting. Her teacher in the Fedoskino School was G.I. Larishev. Since 1978, she has been working in the Factory. Khomutinnikova is a member of the Union of Russian Artists.

Yelena Khomutinnikova is an emotional artist. As early as her graduation work, Scarlet flower, she has attempted to make her painting expressive by portraying characters in impetuous movement. The merchant's daughters have received coveted gifts and they are waving their hands and dancing with joy. The miniature, Peasant's Wedding Party, portrays a naive and hilarious scene. The artist uses detail to call our attention to every character, including their smart clothes and expressive faces. The interior of the house in the painting is richly decorated.

to the top

Oleg Ivanovich Shapkin (born 1955) came to Fedoskino to join the G.I. Larishev and P.S. Davydov classes. He has been working in the Factory of Miniature Painting since 1974. Shapkin graduated from the Department of Theory and History of Art, of the Institute of Painting, Sculpture and Architecture in Leningrad. He is currently residing and working in Fedoskino.

Oleg Shapldn is fond of using decorative effects in his lacquer miniatures. His genre motifs display an extravaganza of spectacular female robes shining with mother-of-pearl and gold. Instead of striving to represent the lifestyle of a particular epoch, the artist chooses to create compositions according to his own perceptions. In Palm Sunday, mother and daughter are clad in rich fur coats adorned with gold designs. They are returning from church in early spring on a frosty and sunny day. The girl in mittens carefully presses branches of the blessed white willow against her breast, for in Russia the white willow branches signify the festival of the Lord's Entry into Jerusalem.

to the top

Margarita Anatolievna Belova Was born in the Moscow suburban area. Studied at Fedoskino School of Miniature Painting from 1985 to 1989. Teachers: D.V.Rogatov, BV.Gorodilin. Works at Fedoskino Factory of Miniature Painting. Participant of shows. Work themes: folklore, genre scenes, portraits. Lives and works in Fedoskino.

to the top

Svetlana Alexandrovna Belovodova Was bom in 1975. From 1991 to 1996 - studied at Fedoskino Art Industrial School of Miniature Painting. Since 1996 has been working at Fedoskino Factory of Miniature Painting.
1996 - «Young Talents - 96», Moscow, Polytechnical Museum; 2001 - «Clear Spring - Fedoskino», Wards of an old English court;
2003 - «Russian Lacquer Miniature Paintings: Sources and Present Time» All-Russian Museum of Ornamental-Applied and Folk Art;
2003 - «X-th All-Russian Show», Central House of Artists;
2004 - «Fedoskino - Two Generations», State Duma of the Russian Federation.
Works are in private collections in Russia, USA, and England.

to the top

Natalya Mikhailovna Khizhnyak Was born In 1964 in a small town of Bronnitsy of the Moscow region. In 1980 entered Fedoskino School of Miniature Painting. Teachers: V.N. Frolov and V.S. Kulgavov. Since 1984 has been working at Fedoskino Factory of Miniature Painting. Member of the Union of Artists. Exhibitions :
1990 - First Universal Exhibition in Leningrad;
1993 - Dmitrov Kremlin; 1994 - Star City;
1996 - Embassy of Holland (Moscow). Exhibition «200 Years of Fedoskino»;
1997 - Mexico (Mexico);
1999 - Moscow Manege. Show «Moscow Regional Union of Artists is 50»;
2000 - Show at the Central House of Artists;
2003 - Lipetsk. Exhibition of the Moscow Regional Union of Artists
2004 - Paris (France).

to the top

Vladislav Sergheyevich Maslov Was born in 197) in a family of artists. In 1986 entered Fedoskino School of Miniature Painting. Teachers: V.N.Kulgavov, N.G. Marchukov, L.S. Pashinina, V.N. Frolov. Since 1991 has been working at Fedoskino Factory of Miniature Painting. Participant of shows. Works are in private collections of Russia and abroad.

to the top

Yuri Borisovich Mikhalev Was born on August 2, 1965 in the town of Bogorodsk (former Noginsk). In 7980 entered Fedoskino School of Miniature Painting. Techniques of Fedoskino painting were taught by V.S.Ku/gavov, one of the best masters of the trade. In 1984 finished the School. From 1987 till 2004 worked at Fedoskino Factory of Miniature Painting. Participant of shows since 1992. Main part of works is in private collections of professionals and amateurs of miniature paintings.

to the top

Vladimir Sergheyevich Monashov Was born in the village of Fedoskino, Mitischi district of the Moscow region on January 20, 1965. In 1980 entered Fedoskino School of Miniature Painting, Fedoskino Department. In 1986 came to work at Fedoskino Factory of Miniature Painting. Member of the Creative Union of Artists and Moscow Regional Union of Artists. Participant of numerous shows. Works are in private collections of Russia and abroad.

to the top

Natalya Grigoryevna Orlova (Torbina) Was born in 1975 in the town of Dmitrov, Moscow region. In 1996 finished Fedoskino School of Miniature Painting. For 17 years has been working as an artist at Fedoskino Factory. Made more than 200 creative works. Participated in shows, works were published in catalogues. Works are in private collections in Russia and the USA.

to the top

Mikhail Anatolievich Papenov Was born in 1963 In the village of Fedoskino. Is a hereditary artist of Fedoskino. After graduation from the Art School works at Fedoskino Factory of Miniature Painting. A favorite genre of Mikhail Papenov is landscape. Member of the Union of Artists.

to the top

Serghei Vyacheslavovich Parmenov Was born in 1964. In 1979 entered Fedoskino School of Miniature Painting. Teachers: S.S. Chistov, N.M. Sytova. In 1986 came to work at Fedoskino Factory of Miniature Painting. Permanent participant of shows, in particular devoted to the anniversary of the Moscow Regional Union of Artists. Works are in private collections of Russia and abroad.

to the top

Irina Nickolaevna Turbeneva Was born in 1968 in the village of Marfino, Mitischi district of the Moscow region, in 1983 entered Fedoskino School of Miniature Painting where began show activities, which continued at Fedoskino Factory of Miniature Painting that she joined in 1987. Participant of numerous regional, zonal and republican shows. Has a number of awards for contribution in the development of decorative art. Works are in museums and private collections both in Russia and abroad.

to the top

Alexey Yuryevich Valyalin Was born on May 9, 1970 in a village of Fedoskino, Mitischi district of the Moscow region. In 1985 entered Fedoskino School of Miniature Painting. Teachers: V. Antonov, V. Frolov. Since 1993 has been working at Fedoskino Factory of Miniature Painting. Participant of shows, works are in private collections of Russia and abroad.

to the top