Kaliningrad Amber painting
These paintings are made by hand from amber. Every stone of amber is a frozen ray of sunshine kept for 40 million years. So, the picture from the amber is not only a unique work of art, but also a part of the sun’s heat, zipped through millions of years. Landscapes, portraits, icons, images of fauna and flora made of amber radiate a positive energy and have a positive effect on a person. Love for amber painting is due to the very nature of the origin of the material. The magic of the stone in the hands of artists becomes a work of art, it is the secret that fascinates, and turns painting into something more.
Gamma of amber colors is so great, that includes, perhaps, the entire spectrum of sunlight. That is why, according to experts, there are no two identical amber stones. Amber pictures are going to any of the elements of small size, are made of a fine amber crumbs. Pictures of amber crumbs allow very accurately convey the image of people, animals, birds, nature and landscapes. But the greatest value is the applique made image of amber, where each element of the work of art – a separate amber stone.
Amber is not a stone, but an amorphous, fossilized tree sap. The fossil resin Cretaceous-Eocene – a waste product of trees Pinus succinieferra. Amber contains up to 8% succinic acid, and has a plurality of impurities. The degree of transparency depends on the availability of tiny voids.
The name of the stone “amber” is derived from the Late Latin ambar, which in turn comes from the Arabic anbar. The name “fake amber” (bastard amber) given to the opaque material. According to astrologers, amber is best suited for born under the sign of Leo.
Today, amber is mainly used for making jewellery – amber necklace, beads of amber, amber earrings, rings and bracelets made of amber, mouthpieces of pipes, amber souvenirs and some art products. Due to its properties such as softness and strength, amber is easily processed without splitting, it can be easily polished. Production of Baltic amber is concentrated mainly in Kaliningrad, Russia.
Baltic amber, one of the oldest gemstones, adorned the crown of Egyptian pharaoh Tutankhamen. Information about it is found in Homer’s “The Odyssey.” The Roman historian Tacitus reports that amber was brought “from the Germans,” it was traded by the Phoenician merchants, calling it drops of resin. A number of tribes used amber as money.
During Nero in ancient Rome dominated amber fashion. From amber produced various luxuries: amber necklaces, beads, and other amber jewelry. Roman tyrant sent his merchants to the north for the Baltic amber. It was highly appreciated not only for its beauty but also because of its healing and protective properties. The emperor himself preferred black amber to all sorts of stones. According to Pliny, a small figure of amber cost more than a good healthy slave. Wealthy Romans always took amber balls with them, rubbed it with their hands, suggesting that amber reinforces them.
In China and Japan especially valued amber of cherry color, reminiscent of dragon’s blood, it was worn by members of the imperial family. Color and transparency were the standard of its value. In ancient Rome, the white and waxy amber was used only for incense, highly prized clear reddish amber. At the beginning of our era valued mainly its two varieties: cooked in honey and transparent gold.
In Eastern countries was highly appreciated transparent yellow with a greenish tinge and a milky white cloud amber. Amber with insect frozen in it had a special commercial value. At the beginning of our era, for amber containing a fly, Phoenician merchants could pay 120 swords and 60 daggers. At the beginning of the XIX century, this amber was particularly fashionable in France and Russia.
Ovid in his “Metamorphoses” conveys a beautiful myth of Phaeton, “explaining” the origin of amber. Phaeton, the son of Phoebus, the son of sun-god and the nymph Clymene persuaded his father to give him to direct the sun chariot but lost his way, he could not cope with the horses, too close to the ground. A monstrous inferno struck the earth, dried up river from the Don to the Rhine, formed the great desert, the people of Ethiopia got black, wood burned, capped mountains split. Angry Jupiter threw the lightning into the fallen on Earth rider. The mother and sister were mourning the dead for a long time, turned into the trees and from their branches continued to fall into the river Eridanus (Po) tears, flowing underneath and immediately hardening under the sun and turning into amber. These petrified tears of Heliades, daughters of the Sun, explain the transparency of the the mineral, warm and bright, and when lit, a divinely fragrant.
Amber – a stone of health, happiness and sun, the amulet of love, capable of attracting to the owner of the gem object his yearnings. According to the psychological impact of color on human, orange (amber) – the color of the exciting and expansive, invigorating and amusing, cheerful and warm, but not intimate. Even in the pre-Christian period, our ancestors believed that pieces of amber included spirits and therefore they were very highly valued.
In ancient times, in Italy were widespread amber products or pear-shaped, or in the form of a ram’s head, or cowrie shells as talismans to ensure fertility and successful hunt. Especially popular were amber figurines depicting fruits, grains and animals as Christmas gifts. In the Middle Ages in great demand were amber rosaries and other religious items. The Greeks gave Amber as a wish of happiness. This stone is the bearer of victory: it gives victory in battle, that is why so many amber pieces are found in graves – fighting charms. Amber – a product of nature, therefore it is usually possible to detect air bubbles, insects, plants or particles. These objects are not considered as defects, but rather a unique feature of genuine amber.
For each species of amber apply its own processing techniques. The largest pieces are used in the unique works (amber bracelets, beads made of amber, amber necklaces and pendants, as well as amber souvenirs), medium – in pendants, amber brooches, earrings from amber, trinkets, souvenirs and other products, small – in the amber beads and the smallest – in the pictures. Especially prized are insect inclusion – gnats, flies, spiders, butterflies and other insects. No less popular but more common are vegetable inclusions – leaves, twigs, grass, pine needles. Some of the stones of amber are clear and transparent, and the others – with hundreds of air bubbles reflecting sunlight like mirror shards. The spectrum of colors ranges from green, lemon, honey, butterscotch color to Cognac and even cherry. There are not two completely identical stones, each amber is unique in its kind.
Amber is not a gem or mineral, but a fossilized resin of prehistoric trees, mainly conifers, which grew nearly fifty million years ago. Now amber is mined in different parts of the world – in the Dominican Republic, Mexico, Burma, Russia. Baltic amber is the oldest. It is produced in the town of Yantarny, near Kaliningrad, Russia. This small Baltic region produces 90% of the world’s amber. In addition, the amber from the Baltic Sea is considered the most high-quality and durable.
Amber is a variety of kinds of different colors, from dark cherry, almost black to pale yellow, white milk meets amber. Not all types of amber transparent when the resin was chalk, limestone or sand then becomes more dense amber color sometimes becomes like a stone, but unlike stones, amber preserves lightness and plasticity. Since ancient times, people have been known to the amazing healing properties of amber. Almost everyone knows that for ease of thyroid disease are recommended to wear amber beads or a necklace made of amber. Also, amber is the symbol of power and brings victory to the one who wears it. Articles made of amber are very comfortable, pleasant to the touch, they are always filled with warmth.
In the post were used Artworks by Galina Baltamber (livemaster.ru/baltamber), Kaliningrad, and paintings by masters of Kaliningrad amber factory (yantarlavka.ru).