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Handmade materials
From the earliest times to present day Palekh craftsmen create every little bit of their work by their own hand. The artists themselves knit even natural squirrel brushes here. The squirrel has elastic and straight hair, which is why dyes come off so easily. To paint a miniature, at least six brushes of different thicknesses are required. The hairs should be sharp, for which not every squirrel tail is suitable. To prevent the brushes from breaking, tubes of duck feathers are put on them, which are called "sleds".
Features of Palekh painting
Since ancient times, the Paleshians have been masters of fine writing — this is one of the types of writing complex icons. For example, 12 hallmarks (12 months) were written on one yard and a half icon, and 30 figures of saints were placed in each hallmark.
Egg tempera
Fine Painting
Palekh miniatures, just like icons, are painted by fresh egg tempera. This requires dilution of an egg yolk with vinegar and the resulting emulsion is added up to a dry pigment. The paint for the image is always used only fresh, masters do it every day.
In Palekh Watch, every image is also outlined with amazing precision.
Dark background
Palekh icons did not have a dark background: if it appeared on the image, it usually symbolized the forces of evil. However, the Palekh miniature took black as a basis.
Black lacquer contains all colors and embodies the essence of things, reflecting the darkness of the earthly beginning, from which light is born. In addition, the black color has an internal volume and depth, which was noticed in antiquity.
Gold leaf painting
Authentic polishing
For the gold layer to shine it needs to be polished with a wolf tooth. Final polishing touches are applied by an artist.
A painting is finished with gold leaf paint: leaf gold is ground and rubbed up by fingers.
Gold in the Palekh miniature is light, referring us to medieval ideas about the two principles of life: dark and light.
In ancient culture, the bright beginning was associated with the image of the god of light, Apollo. In Christian symbolism, light is a prototype of Divine grace.
The choice of scenes in the classic Palekh art is also significant: usually it shows scenes from Russian epic poems, songs, legends, fables, everyday life. The modern art of Palekh, following the traditional depiction of saints, shows human characters as lightweight and elongated. Images carry rhythm and music.
A sophisticated technique using thin layers of paint is used: transparent paints of various color hues are applied on top of each other in several layers so that they shine through and create a mother-of-pearl effect. This technique was used to paint face images on icons.
Sophisticated technique
Where else is Palekh found
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