Mstyora is an ancient village famous for its craftsmen of lacquer miniatures and icon painting.
This settlement was mentioned in the chronicles for the first time in 1626. In the reign of Peter I the settlement belonged to Prince Fyodor Yurievitch Romodanovsky, companion-in-arms of the tsar and head of the Preobrazhensky department, and was called the Bogoyavlenskaya Sloboda.
Since the 18th century icon-painting became the leading trade of this village. The icon-painting style of Mstyora was determined by the tastes and demands of the old believers not of the Moscow region alone, but also of the Urals, Siberia, Zavolzhie (the Volga region) and Pomorie (coast area). Different groups of the old believers had different style requirements which made Mstyora masters imitate various icon-painters.
In the 19th century the settlement was named Mstyora. The indigenous inhabitants claim that the name derives from the Russian word “mastera” – masters.
Local master-craftsmen made icon mountings for churches and monasteries. It laid the groundwork for the local jewelry art employing the technique of filigree known in the time of the Kiev’s Russia.
Many talented artists lived here in the 1700s, so many different kinds of folk art arose here such as an icon painting, gold and silver embroidery and engraving. Art work with a delicate miniature pattern was developed in Mstyora before the revolution, along with the famous Vladimir stitch with a massive ornament. Nowadays, Mstyora is the center of the popular Russian art of miniature painting on lacquer articles made of papier-mache.
The Mstyora miniatures usually represent scenes from real life, fairy tales, folklore, literary and history works. Special place in Mstera painting takes icon painting. As it has some specific features. This tradition was held by Byzantine art, the successors of which were first and foremost the Vladimir and Suzdal icon painters.The Byzantine technique of painting with flux and Byzantine icon painting was preserved in Mstera for many centuries, right up until the start of the 20th century.
Carpet decoration, variety and refinement of picturesque tinges, which contain with general tone of all composition are typical peculiarities of Mstyora’s miniature painting. Warmth and gentleness of colors, depth of landscape backgrounds (often with blue dales in the back), small size and squatness of human figurines, and subtlety of framing pattern done in gold are typical for the Mstyora miniature. Colors gamut of Mstera’s artists is blue-silver or yellow-red. Sometimes artists of Mstera are painting their works by only one ornament (pattern from grass, leaves and fruits).
Masterpieces of Mstyora artists are well-known around the world. They were awards by Gran-Prix, the gold and silver medals on the world exhibition. The Art of Mstyora is represented in the collections of the biggest museums in Russia (Russian Museum, Tretyakov Gallery) and in the world. Our online gift collection of art propose to you such birthday or anniversary gift ideas as icons, lacquer miniatures, wood vases and art tableware.
Luxurious art gifts of wood tableware and Palekh, Mstyora lacquer miniatures you can look at online Art Store site. It is amazing that what started out as a true folk tradition over hundreds years ago is still thriving and remains basically true to it’s roots, albeit on a more organized scale.