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AUTHORITIES ON HOLIDAY

 

The Ural stone cutters specializing at small-scale three-dimensional plastic art have been always actively looking for new images. Having gathered marvelous mineral raw materials from all over the world the semiprecious stone palette provides with a wonderful opportunity to fulfill even the most ingenious projects.

The images of the Olymp’s inhabitants have attracted artists’ and sculpturers’ attention from the earliest times. Kings and emperors, barons and dukes, earls and princes -  it’s thanks to their stone statues of different sizes and shapes starting with the grandiose pompous monuments to the intimate table miniatures - that we know all those more or less great sovereigns, holders of their own piece of property and power, all those heroes of the past.  Lifetime portraits are of exceptional value since they have reflected the real human traits of this or that authoritative personality as well as the attitude of his or her subjects.

Nowadays the traditional topic of chiefs and sovereigns has been transformed significantly under the influence of social progress, of liberal and democratic conquests, of post-totalitarian tastes and actual esthetic values.  Imprinting images of powerful people that in the old days used to be their personal will is now made on the community initiative. This resulted in the reduction of the images’ sizes due to the smaller amount of the financial resources available and to the difference in image sizes appropriate for such lifetime works. And there the genre of cabinet miniature made in the technique of three-dimensional mosaic is most welcome. There is no need any more in countless megatons of granite or marble “to cut out a fellow in his full-height”. A selection of semiprecious stones that is modest in its quantity but rich in its mineral diversity would be sufficient.

Ural stone-cutting workshop in honour of  Ilya Borovikov has revived with the help of a whole number of its works the centuries-old tradition of making stone chronicles which are passing on to descendants life, creative works and leisure time of the Russian sovereigns. On the pages of  PLATINUM there have already been published  the virtuosic stone figures of  the royal persons from the outstanding project “Imperial chess”. This time the subject is totally different: the miniature “On holiday” showing lyric idyll – modest leisure time spending of an ordinary Russian governor.

Skillful portrait work together with ingenious transmission of various textures and selection of the most vivid colours of the stone palette make this project unique. Subject and natural details of the composition are carried out with great professional skill. Jewellery articles put the dainty accent and arouse admiration by the combination of diminutiveness and elaborate work. In addition there are kinetic tricks based on unsophisticated but nevertheless spectacular mechanics revealing some elements of the miniature.

The image is calm and whole-hearted but at the same time created with passion and obvious sympathy for the main hero. Looking at the composition makes you think of the extraordinary expressive potential of stones, that the profound feeling of the material and the stone cutters’ skill make any work on any subject a work of art.

 

Leonid Salmin

Based on the materials of PLATINUM journal

 

 

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