Drobnitsy (special inserts covered with enamel for decoration of religious books etc)

Rostov, Yaroslavl Province. The late 18th - the early 19th century

The craft of picturesque enamel in the ancient city of Rostov Veliky exists more than two centuries. Rostov enamel, largely connected with the local icon painting tradition, developed in constant contact and under the influence of successive baroque and classicism styles. The craft focused on the most diverse customer’s tastes - from the upper clergy to the citizen and villager.

In the 18th century enamel plates with miniature paintings, created by local artists, decorated church utensils. The process of creating a pictorial miniature on enamel in general terms comes to the following. Enamel (opaque glassy mass) is applied in several layers on the front side of the copper convex plate and in one layer on the back side of it. Burning at a temperature of up to 800 degrees firmly fuses the enamel with the metal, forming an even shiny surface - the basis for painting. The plate’s painting is made with fireproof paints. Infusible paints are applied first, then come fusible, which is taken into account with each following burning. The plate is burned from 4 to 7 times when creating a complex multi-color composition.

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