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Title: Pushkin's fairy tales
Artist: Molodkin Denis Vladimirovich
Size (cm): 22 x 25 x19
Size (inches): 9x10x7.75
Price : $32500 SOLD!





Master Mstera artist Denis Molodkin painted this colossal five-sided casket featuring the various fairytales made famous by Alexander Pushkin. It took nearly a year to complete this incredible box, which features five primary compositions on the sides and top as well as four minor compositions set on a field of stylized vines and decorations on the curved edge of the lid. Despite the vast expanse of this piece, Molodkin has spared no attention to detail in crafting this highly intricate set of compositions. Elements that are painted large are rendered with extraordinary detail, while other elements are painted so finely as to be truly worthy of the term "lacquer miniature". Molodkin is known for his unique compositions and thematic material, his complex scene rendering, and overall aesthetic which blends traditional iconographic forms in the Mstera tradition with more contemporary Mstera techniques which present a more realistic style. While Molodkin will shift focus between the "old" and "new" styles, he chooses to blend them in this work. The scene on the lid featuring the great poet himself is painted in a modern three-dimensional style, while the scenes of the fairy tales are all painted with more traditional flat renderings of characters and structures. However the standards of iconographic style end there, as Molodkin's genius shines through in the layout of each composition, as he brilliantly blends several events from each story in each scene. As mentioned, the lid features Pushkin sitting with an old woman who is relating the old tales to the poet, while the visualizations of the stories seem to be emerging from the candle smoke and circling the room. From the top, clockwise are the Princess Swan/Tsar Saltan, the Golden Cockerel, the Golden Fish, Tsar Saltan, and Ruslan and Ludmila. The front of the box features the arrival of Tsar Saltan to the kingdom of the Princess Swan, featuring Prince Gvidon, his mother, the thirty-three warriors, and the court of Tsar Saltan. The right side of the box is the Golden Fish, encapsulating the rise and fall of the man's fortunes and the greed of his wife in attempting to command the sea and the oceans. The rear composition features Tsar Dadon returning with Queen Shemakha and meeting the Astrologer who gave him the mysterious Golden Cockerel. Finally, the left side features the tale of Ruslan and Ludmila, Pushkin's first published fairy tale, featuring brave Ruslan pursuing the evil Chernomor as he carries Ludmila away on his beard. The box is ornamented in three different styles of delicate and precise filigree around each composition. Again, Molodkin blends designs on the top and bottom of each scene with a more contemporary design to the side of each composition.