Art Kaleidoscope

Between art and craft

Category Archive: Vintage

Prayer Nut wood carving art

Prayer Nut wood carving art

A small boxwood orb decorated inside and outside with carving on religious themes – Prayer Nut wood carving art

Prayer Nut wood carving art
First of all, to produce such a prayer nut required considerable skill. Within the scope of the concave a skillful master carved miniature stories about the life of Christ and his apostles. Noteworthy, the width of a “nut” was no more than 3-5 cm in diameter. And to add flavor to patterns the artist added leaves of spice plants or aromatic oil. Undoybtedly, every Prayer Nut is a true work of art. Only the very rich could afford to order such a pocket-like altar. Therefore, possession of “prayer nuts” underlines the high social status. Designed to be worn on a rosary or belt these orbs could be used for private devotion. In particular, when its wealthy owner traveled. Therefore, they were known as rosary beads or prayer nuts.
The skill of medieval craftsmen still amazes. Every detail of the composition conceived and executed with maximum precision. These exquisite Prayer nuts adorn exposures of the world’s leading museums. Among them the British Museum in London and the Kunsthistorisches Museum in Vienna, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and the Louvre. A few years ago at an auction one such nut was sold for 133,250 pounds.

More »

Owl inspired Pablo Picasso

Owl inspired Picasso

The artist paints a bird with just one move. Owl inspired Pablo Picasso

Owl inspired Pablo Picasso
Noteworthy, Picasso brought with him to Paris a little owl from a resort town of Antibes. According to Memories of Francoise Gilot, he found it with a broken foot in the Chateau Grimaldi. Meanwhile, Picasso cured it and then kept in a cage in the kitchen of his apartment in Paris on the Great Augustinian street, along with pigeons and a canary. Large round eyes of owl reminded Picasso his own, however, the trail of superstitions attributed to owls, inspired in him a mystical feeling toward the bird. Indeed, he painted it, created sculpture, and made a great variety of owl ceramics. Besides, there are a few photos in which Picasso poses with his owl, and captured next to his owl art.
More »

Katsushika Hokusai code

The Great Wave off Kanagawa Katsushika Hokusai code

The Great Wave off Kanagawa. Katsushika Hokusai code

Katsushika Hokusai code naturally meets the main principle of the Far Eastern philosophy: all things are born from the interaction of two opposing forces of cosmic order yin and yang. Yang – masculine, active, bright start; Yin – feminine, passive, dark. The Great Wave off Kanagawa depicts the moment of complete triumph of the feminine, a prisoner in a giant wave, ready to absorb the boat of fishermen. But in the view of the Japanese, none of the forces can fully take precedence over the other, and at exact moment when the victory of one of them seems to be imminent, the pendulum begins to move in the opposite direction. So that efforts of the rowers are not in vain. Victory as a pledge of defeat.
More »

Fragile Herbarium Art

Fragile Herbarium Art. Herbarium collection of the Darwin Museum, Moscow

Beautiful red flowers, botanical drawing from the Herbarium collection of the Darwin Museum, Moscow. Fragile Herbarium Art

Fragile Herbarium Art
In fact, hand-made and modern technologies allow to permanently preserve the unique beauty of the plants, making them imperishable. They are able to fill the iving space of the house with positive energy. And one of the traditional styles of work with pressed flowers is the Herbarium Art. However, it differs from other floral collages by simple, natural location of the plant material. Besides, it allows to emphasize the beauty and uniqueness of certain plant species. Laconic and decorative, Herbaria can be widely used in interior design. The Herbarium Art, in fact, is a link between the botanical science and artistic pattern.
More »

Death behind Harlequin mask

Death behind Harlequin mask. Konstantin Somov. Harlequin and Death. 1907. Watercolor and gouache on paper. Tretyakov Gallery, Moscow

Konstantin Somov. Harlequin and Death. 1907. Watercolor and gouache on paper. Tretyakov Gallery, Moscow. Death behind Harlequin mask

Death behind Harlequin mask
Harlequin mask was one among the other characters of the Italian commedia dell’arte – folk theater of masks. Born in the 16th century, this theater existed for three centuries, loved both by a crowd of poor onlookers and elegant aristocrats. Italian storyteller and playwright, who wrote many wonderful comedies and fairy tales for theater masks, Carlo Gozzi jokingly and lovingly talked about his character: “They are accelerated into the seriousness of magnificent tragedies and cheerful courtesy of deliberate comedies.”
In fact, all the masks of commedia dell’arte are entirely comic, tragic mask does not exist here. All came from the stories. They were diverse: pastoral, tragical, catastrophes and horrors. Nevertheless, masks have always played comic roles and were funny. Therefore, have always been popular.
More »

Alexandra collectible art dolls

Alexandra collectible art dolls

Historical authenticity, excellence and quality – Alexandra collectible art dolls

Alexandra collectible art dolls
Russian doll artist Alexandra Kukinova graduated from the Art School of Moscow Academic Art Theatre of Chekhov. A member of the Union of Artists of Russia, Alexandra creates exquisite porcelain art collections (including historical dolls) and souvenir porcelain dolls. Collectible handmade art dolls created by talented master have historical authenticity, excellence and quality.
In 1989 Alexandra Kukinova founded her own art studio “Alexandra”. By now “Alexandra” – participant of the largest doll international exhibitions in Russia, Europe and the United States, winner of professional competitions.
More »

French artist predictor Albert Robida

Telephonoscope in 2000. 1883 illustration by French artist predictor Albert Robida

Telephonoscope in 2000. 1883 illustration by French artist predictor Albert Robida

French artist predictor Albert Robida

According to writer Solzhenitsyn, through art we sometimes briefly receive such revelations, which rational thinking can’t develop”. And Albert Robida, Frenchman, a science fiction writer and a brilliant artist proved this. His creative insights strike today.
Born in southern France 14 May 1848, he began drawing at a young age. Later, he drew cartoons and illustrations for various journals. Besides, Robida was a great traveler, who visited all parts of the country and went abroad. In 1883 in Paris, was published his book “The Twentieth Century”, and a few years later appeared “Electrical life.” In these books, he looked into the future and made startling predictions, describing “technical wonders” of the coming century.
More »