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  • #343728

    Anonymous

    From time immemorial Rostov Veliki was famous for its architecture, icon-painting, frescoes, and bell-ringing, and from the mid 18th century enamel painting (finift) flourished here. Rostov finift’ is painting on enamel with enamel paints.

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    Enamel is solid vitreous coating applied onto a metal base (copper, steel, silver, or gold plate) with additives of various colour metal oxides and secured by firing in a muffle furnace at 800 C (1 472,00 F). Enamel came to Old Rus from Byzantium (together with Christianity, in the 10th century), and so the Russian name of enamel – finift' – is derived from the Greek finftis, which means 'bright, glittering'. It is the radiance, brilliance, and unfading colours that attract to finift': the painted designs shine in the milk-white enamel surface as if oozing from its depth. Painting on enamel, being a very complicated decorative art, has always been esteemed on a par with precious stones.

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    Finift' technique is used for creating ***elry, icons, miniature portraits, coats of arms, and other luxury. Painting on enamel boasts literally everlasting purity, luster and transparency of colours. It is not subjected, unlike other kinds of painting, to ruinous impact of light, dirtying, and moist and temperature differences.

    Craftsmen of Kievan Rus' used vitreous coating of various colours for decorating metal items; they mastered the techniques of erose enamel (enamel filling hollows in metal), and cloisonne enamel (filling spaces between metal stripes soldered on metal surface). As for painting on enamel, a comparatively late technology of artistic enamel, it appeared in Russia in the late 17th century.

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    This original technology was invented by the French ***eler Jean Toutan in the 17th century. He invented refractory paints which are applied with a brush on enamel surface and then dried and fired to secure. First high-melting and then low-temperature paints are applied. After each colour layer the plate has to be fired, with the paints changing their colours a little. For creation of a complex multicolored composition the plate is fired four to seven times.

    From France painting on enamel spread around Europe. Russian masters studying abroad mastered this 'vitreous painting' and soon its secrets reached Moscow, Veliky Ustyug and Solvychegodsk. In the 18th century it was developed by Petersburg artists, and in the second half of that century finift' production moved to Rostov. Picked up by folk masters, this art acquired vivid original character and turned into one of the most famous Russian arts and crafts. Rostov finift' with its own history and rich traditions is considered to be the best in Russia.

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    Initially Rostov finift' masters got orders from large monasteries; hence the prevailing theme of painting. Miniature enamel icons made there were distributed all around Russia and exported abroad. Besides mass production items they also painted miniature plates to decorate settings of gospel books, holy vessels, and headgears of priests. Works by old finift' masters can be seen in the museum reserve of the Rostov Kremlin.

    From the second half of the 19th century Rostov masters made enamels for private customers also. These were portraits and replicas of famous foreign paintings. The year 1900 saw the opening of a Rostov finift' school that launched painting on enamel of ***elry.

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    In 1960 Rostov Finift Factory producing hand-painted enamels was founded. Nowadays it has grown into a large-scale enterprise, with its production having the call in the international market.

    http://www.moscowtopnews.com/?area=postView&id=1502

    #390985

    Anonymous

    Despite of possible visual similarity with lacquer art this Finift' tehnique differs from Fedoskino or Palekh art, so I think that it was correct to create the separated thread about Finift'.

    #390986

    Anonymous
    [size=12pt]Vologda Finift'[/size]
    [img width=700]http://vologda-portal.ru/images/turism/narodnie/finift_1_fl.jpg” />

    Vologda finift' – a colorful floral or the story painting on a white enameled background. The beginning of the fishery belongs to the middle of XVII century – the Russian North in Solvychegodsk masters created their own unique style of painting on enamel. The paintings are called Usol's enamels, as the city Solvychegodsk in ancient documents and inventories were called Usolsk.

    Masters Usol'e enamel used rich artistic possibilities of enamels, constantly perfected the technique. In enamel painting technique they used special methods for colored shading: lush vegetation composition was applied (usually the favorite flower was tulip) on a copper base. Natural forms of flowers and plants got  fantastic shapes by master's lush. Usolsk painting differs by variety of colors: red, purple, yellow, green, brown, pink and blue hues made ​​up the pattern palette. The paintings were made, usually on a white background. In the designs of plants were expertly fit decorative images of birds, insects, and mythological beasts. Art of Solvychegodsk enamel strong influenced on the development of other centers of je welry, particularly in Moscow. Masters of the Solvychegodsk were summoned to Moscow for the development of enamel production art in the capital.

    [img width=700 height=423]http://vologda-portal.ru/images/turism/narodnie/finift_2_fl.jpg” />

    However, the renaissance of Usol'e enamels was brief. At the beginning of the century (1744) started fading art of painting on enamel. In place of painted enamels come monochrome painting – white, blue, green, which completely covered the subject.

    In the 70s of XX century group of artists and jewelers of Vologda studied and revived this ancient art. In Vologda experienced and artistic products existed pilot plant, the master of which engaged in the development of j e welry and gift items with enamels.

    Today the craft of painting on enamel is engaged by enterprise in the city of Vologda – Creative Studio "Vologda Finift".

    Source: http://vologda-portal.ru/o_gorode/index.php?SECTION_ID=4218&ID=58668

    #390987

    Anonymous

    Thanks for this thread, Sibiryak. I didn't know about Russian enamel painting. I don't find many similarities with lacquer art, except the fact that they're part of Russian traditions and they are made on small surfaces.

    I have one question. Is this one Rostov Finift?

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    #390988

    Anonymous
    Quote:
    I have one question. Is this one Rostov Finift?

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    Well, I'm not a professional in this field, but this one looks very similar with Finift technique:

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    This methods wasn't invented by Russians and existed in Byzantium, so I can't be sure in the Rostov origin of the decoration from your photo :)

    #390989

    Anonymous
    Quote:
    Well, I'm not a professional in this field, but this one looks very similar with Finift technique:

    This methods wasn't invented by Russians and existed in Byzantium, so I can't be sure in the Rostov origin of the decoration from your photo :)

    The earing that I posted is my mother's. The other one got lost as well as a ring with the same decoration. When I read for the first time your thread, I associated it with them imediatly. Well, there is a big similarity, so I will think that it's Russian. I would like to have something Russian :).

    #390990

    Anonymous

    I am quite fascinated by Rostov Finift, so I'm happy to find this thread.  :)  I have just one piece, gifted to me by a family I assisted in a Russian resettlement program here in America.  I would love to visit the Rostov museum. What a delight that must be!  :)

    Here's a photo of my Rostov Finifit enamel pin.

    [IMG]http://imageshack.us/scaled/large/600/dtgb.jpg” />

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