village of Zhostovo in the Moscow region is one of the most
respected centers of Russian folk art. It is noted for itís
lacquered trays on which clear, bright bouquets of flowers dance
on a shining black background displaying the cheerfulness and
beauty of nature.
In the art of Zhostovo
lives a rich hereditary native culture. The art of Zhostovo
began in the early 19th century, when craftsmen began making
various items of lacquered paper mache. They opened their
first workshop in 1825, producing: boxes, cases, snuff boxes
and other articles. The original trays featured troika driving,
genre scenes, landscape and floral ornamentation.
Later the craftsmen turned their attention
to making the trays of metal. They painted realistic garden
and field flowers in bouquets and garlands. However, the practice
of painting bunches of flowers became the most popular. The
fascination of the art of Zhostovo lies in itís honesty and
the directness of itís artistic content. To understand and
appreciate the art, you donít need any special knowledge.
The themes of the artist rouse the feeling of beauty in everyone
looking at them. The art of Zhostovo blends folk art with
realistic floral painting.
The unique and beautiful painting style which
emerged at the beginning of the nineteen century, has been
successfully developed in our own day. Under the brushes of
skilled craftsmen the true-to life subject attains the highest
quality of artistic production. The best traditions of this
popular folk art are preserved by the modern artists of Zhostovo,
who manage to unite the traditional methods with the improvisation
and individual talent of each master.
In the art of Zhostovo there is no repitition,
every tray has a unique variation of the flower theme in itís
picturesque, still life composition Through the creativeness
and successes of the artists, Zhostovo today demonstrates
it's contemporariness. Under the brush of skilled craftsmen
these domestic utensils are suitable to decorate any home.
Today the art of the Zhostovo can be seen in
homes and museums throughout the world.