A Valance of a Sheet

The Vologda Province. Late 18th century

The valances (elegant edges of the sheets) are the original creations of their time. By their refinement and the skill of their creators, they can be compared to the Kholmogory carved bone pieces of the second half of the 18th century. In both crafts folk masters perceived and reflected in their own way the great styles of architecture and applied art of that time – the baroque and rococo styles.

There were many different ways for the pervasion of baroque into the folk embroidery. Engravings and printed pictures played an important role. They undoubtedly served as preparatory material for the creation of these embroideries. In these engravings and cheap popular prints one could find analogies to the images of magnificent baroque architecture, panoramas of monasteries, gardens and parks with gazebos; a characteristic interpretation of trees with powerful branches and generalised tree crowns; exotic elephants, lions and camels.

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