April 18, 2015

0255, 1529 RUSSIA - Matryoshka

Three Matryoshkas from a series containing 30 pieces
with the pictures illustrating Ruslan and Ludmila

In 2001 was inaugurated, just in the Moscow's center, in the building of Russian Folk Arts Fund, where the first Matryoshka doll was created in the end of the XIX century, the Museum Of Russian Matryoshka, the first official collection of Matryoshka dolls in Russia. Matryoshka dolls are a set of wooden dolls of decreasing size, placed one inside the other, and appeared in Russia at the end of 1890's, in a Moscow craft workshop named Children's Education, the first being carved by Vasily Zvyozdochkin, from a design by Sergey Malyutin. The concept was borrowed from Japan, but was further developed in Russia. Depending of the author's imagination, the themes for the decoration of nesting dolls were ethnographic, historical or fairy tale.

"Autumn Matryoshka Doll with a Cat" - by Lubov Fetisova

Matryoshka, generally recognized at the Paris World Exhibition in 1900, became more and more popular, and in 1910 a crafts workshop named Amateur Artist was set up in Sergiev Posad. It was always interesting and even instructive, because by gathering a collection get enough information about the history of Russian national costume, Russia epos, and even Russian literature. The variety of nesting dolls was achieved by the number of pieces mainly ranging from 3 to 12. There exist "supermatryoshkas" having 48 or 60 pieces but these are unique.

Another well-known type is the Semjonov matryoshka, a many piece dissembling doll, characterized by fine and specific graphic techniques, which turns very bright floral patterns into light and elegant ones, producing an effect of embroidery. Also in Nizhny Novgorod province there is another place called Polhovskij Maidan famous for its wooden toys, different both in shape and pattern, more massive and less graceful. A typical detail in its pattern is sweetbrier, the so-called "northern rose", painted both as an open flower and a bud. Krutetz and Merinovo are other places in Nizhnij Novgorod region producing Matryoshkas, more experimental.

About the stamps
On the postcard 0255
The first stamp is the Russian one for Europa 2004, with the theme Vacations. Second is part of Safe Conduct of Children on the Roads series, containing 5 stamps with the same value (4.00 RUB), of which I have another one here.

The third belongs to a set of 4, depicting Bridges, issued on November 28, 2008:
• Zhivopisnyi Bridge across Moscow River (6 RUB)
• Bridge across River Volga (7 RUB)
• Bridge across River Obj (8 RUB)
• Bolshoj Obukhovsky Bridge across River Neva (9 RUB) - it's on the postcard

On the postcard 1529
The first three stamps are part of a series dedicated to Russian Kremlins, about which I wrote here. The last stamp is part of a definitive series about which I wrote here.

Matryoshka doll - Wikipedia
Russian Matryoshka - Art of Matryoshka
Nesting Dolls: Almost Everything - Russian Art Workshops

Sender 0255: Marina / Laktrissa (direct swap)
Sent from Moskow (Moskow / Russia), on 29.02.2012
Sender 1529: Marija / mas (postcrossing) RU-3583459
Sent from Verkhny Ufaley (Chelyabinsk Oblast / Russia), on 05.04.2015

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