The village of Palekh is located 350 km from Moscow. Palekh has a very long history in Russian iconography and for centuries was a leading center of icon painting. Following the October Revolution of 1917 with its atheist ideology, around 1923, the Palekh masters of iconography began to paint papier-mâché boxes applying the same principles they had learned from painting icons. The miniature lacquer artwork is very complicated, requiring painstaking effort since it is done by hand. The artists use yolk tempera and the thinnest of brushes made of squirrel hair. The Palekh miniatures usually represent characters from fairy tales, literary works, and songs. Graceful lines, multi-figured composition and detailed painting on black background distinguish Palekh style. The composition is usually framed in the hand-painted gold ornament. Authentic Palekh lacquer boxes are signed by the artist.
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