Russian enamel art

Russian enamel art

Russian enamel art. Products made of metal, decorated with hot enamel, occupy a large place in the decorative and applied arts. The process of making multicolored metal, the connection of metal and glass, was known back in ancient times. Hot enamel for metal was used in the applied art of ancient Egypt, India, China. These products, mainly jewelry and dishes, amaze us with impeccable quality of performance, multicolor and subtlety of work.

In the works of applied art of the ancient world, as well as in the later products of Greek and Roman masters of the first centuries of our era, the technique of notch enamel was applied. With this method of applying enamel, the vitreous mass was laid in grooves specially selected in the surface of the metal. Next to the shiny surface of gold, silver or copper, the colored impregnations of the enamel created the impression of precious stones or mosaics.

The technique of enamel achieved great perfection in works of applied art of Byzantium (X-XV cc.). They are remarkable for the amazing subtlety of work, the harmony of color, plasticity, the expressiveness of compositions and the variety of techniques. Byzantine artists used not only chamomile enamel, but also cloisonne. The range of application of products with hot enamel is expanding. In addition to jewelry and utensils, enamel decorates objects of church use: icons, salaries of church books, etc.

Russian enamel art

The mastery of Byzantine jewelers found their followers in the ancient Russian applied art of Kiev, Vladimir, Novgorod, Moscow. In Kiev, in the X century. there are products from metal with hot enamel, which were famous in Europe along with Byzantine carefulness and subtlety of work, harmonious colors, among which blue, green, red and pink prevail. In these products, the technique of both the notched and cloisonne enamel was used.

Russian masters not only adopted from Byzantines thoroughness and grace of execution, but continued the traditions of enamel art and achieved in the subsequent times of high perfection and world fame.

Russian enamel art

In the XIV and XV centuries. Enamel is used as a background on cast, chased and carved items. By the middle of the XVI century. The technique of enamel on scanning from gold, silver or copper has widely spread. Even more precious is the gloss and brightness of the enamels next to the gleaming metal ornament. Products of this kind were famous masters of Novgorod and Moscow. The favorite colors of the enamel of the Novgorod masters were blue, blue, black and white, and these inclusions in the scanne pattern were very small in size to give the jewelry items. For Moscow works with enamel XV century. is characterized by the use of transparent emerald green, blue and lilac enamels, which flooded the background of inscriptions or molded overhead images.

Russian enamel art

In the XVI century. the decoration of gold and silver enamel products achieves its perfection. In the color scheme, the first place is taken by a blue tone with many shades from blue-cornflower blue to watery-blue, turquoise, greenish-blue and lilac, and at the end of the century there are also thick red and green tones.

In the XVII century. Moscow masters master the technique of artistic enamel in all its diversity. They not only cover the flat surfaces with enamel, but also enrich the enamel with voluminous forms: vessels, sculptured chased reliefs, etc. In this case, deaf enamels of various colors and shades are applied, and transparent ones, through which the shimmering shine of the gold and silver background shines.

Russian enamel art

Period XVI-XVII centuries. characterized by the use of hot enamel in everyday things: dishes, boxes, cases, knives, forks. Enamel as a kind of decoration, mostly objects of church use, now becomes an integral part of both everyday and secular things.

The method of painting on white enamel on metal became known from the middle of the XVIII century. and in the city of Rostov (Yaroslavl). Items of church utensils, expensive utensils, miniature portraits, jewelry were manufactured here. Remarkable in them were painted enamel inserts-miniatures, made with a sophisticated overglaze painting on white enamel on metal. Images differed by a realistic reproduction of space, volumes, illumination.

By the middle of the XIX century. in the work of the masters of the enamel business, there is a gradual transition from the elegance and the many colors of the 18th-century paintings to monochrome, naturalistic and somewhat simplistic. In the products of the late XIX and early XX centuries. the features of mechanical mixing of traditional techniques (XVIII century) with classical (XIX century) and with the West European methods of murals are noticeable. The end of XIX and early XX century. characterized by flourishing style “modern”An example is the products of the firm Kurlyukova in Moscow.

Russian enamel art

In the 90 years of the XIX century. applied art of Russia is experiencing an acute need to return to the forms of pre-classical art of Ancient Rus. Most often, artists turn to the heritage of the XVII century, as the richest in a variety of ways of performing and decorating products. In applied works from the metal of this time, either very exact copies of the samples of the 17th century or stylizations using forms, decor and technology of the 17th century are noticeable.
The attempt to return to the past, traditional forms had noble goals: it served in many cases to open forgotten methods of manufacture and, in particular, to the revival of the technique of hot enamel on metal. Such methods as the whole coating with the enamel of the product, the production of transparent enamels on metal or enamel painting for jewelry, were again mastered and returned to production. Special fame was established in 1842 in
Petersburg factory Faberge and opened in the late nineties of the nineteenth branch of the Faberge firm in Moscow, uniting several manufacturing workshops for the manufacture of precious jewelry. In these workshops, enamel work of high technical quality was carried out. Diverse in character, they sometimes repeated the forms of the XVII century. with the inclusion of elements of other styles, but more often they had pronounced features of their own style.