Hussar and Lady

Sergiev Posad, Moscow Province. XIX век

  • Wood, carving, painting. 41,7 х 10,6 х 6,8; 37 х 10,5 х 8
  • ОНИ/Д-2859; ОНИ/Д-2860

  • Пост. в 1976 из коллекции Л. Ф. Макарьева, ранее в собр. В. В. Матэ (СПб)

  • Собрание Л. Ф. Макарьева, В. В. Матэ

Along with typical peasant toy centers in Russia, there were craft centers located in settlements and towns. Such an arrangement caused a certain influence of urban culture, and hence the more complex artistic nature of local craft. The biggest among them is Sergiev Posad, a town that belongs to the Moscow province. Here wood carving has been for a long time, and the development of the toy carving craft is confirmed by the documents of the 17th century, which testify the acquisition of local toys for the royal children. The founding of the craft is attributed to the legendary master Tatyga, who once carved the first doll from a linden. In the 19th century Sergiev Posad was the largest center of Russian wooden toys.

The mincing ladies and fancy hussars were especially popular toys to make in Sergiev Posad. Tall and slender, they are posing on a small elevation, which preserves the shape of a trihedral block, as if the figures were released from it by the artist’s hand. They were cut out with a knife, and then the details were worked out with small chisels and a round chipper, with which the typical vertical grooves on the pedestals were made. Different forms of cutting and subsequent painting with enamel paints are conveying in detail the magnificent hussar uniforms and ladies' dresses, showing the texture of fabrics, fur, feathers on hats. Their slightly stupid faces resemble dolls. These images are precise and expressive, showing their characters and social belonging. The ironic attitude of masters to their heroes does not prevent the viewer from admiring their expensive outfits.

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