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Russian handicrafts as art in the exposition of museums
Russian handicrafts as art in the exposition of museums

Video: Russian handicrafts as art in the exposition of museums

Video: Russian handicrafts as art in the exposition of museums
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Historians believe that the first creative urges 32,000 years ago were experienced by a man, possibly a shaman, who painted hunting scenes on the vaults of the Chave Cave.

But you and I know that that inspired artist was dressed in fur clothes, lovingly sewn by female hands from animal skins. Probably a bone needle. And, perhaps, the primitive shovchik was made not just like over the edge, but with a brilliant vein, artistic stitching … Goat, for example.

And no matter what art critics say about the secondary nature of folk art, it arose and took a very important place in human life much earlier than inspired artists began to create.

28,000 thousand years ago, a shaman with two children was buried on the territory of cold Russia. The robes of these venerable dead were adorned with thousands of ivory beads. For the manufacture of which the efforts of many dozen people were needed. This means that especially beautiful, embroidered and beaded clothes were necessary not only in this life, but also for the long journey to the next world …

The thread stretches, the ball rolls …

When people learned to knit, no one can say for sure. The oldest knitted product dating back to the 3rd century. AD, found in Peru - a beautifully knitted belt with a hummingbird motif. Coptic tombs in Egypt have preserved objects connected in the 4th-5th centuries. AD Like a baby colored wool knitted sock. And in one Germanic tomb of the same period, inconsolable relatives put a set of knitting needles.

But wasn’t a sock-vest knitted before the new era? Of course, they knitted, just more ancient, primordial, rotted long ago.


Only the drawings remained. In the tomb of Amenemkht in Beni Hasan (19th century BC), a wall image of four Semitic women dressed in knitted jackets was discovered. In the ruins of the palace of Senacherib in Nineveh, a bas-relief of a warrior in socks, very similar to modern ones, was found.

And there is an opinion that knitting was known even at the time of the creation of Homer's "Odyssey". Simply due to the inaccuracy of the translators and scribes, the words "knitting" were replaced by "weaving". Remember, Penelope promised to impatient grooms that she would get married as soon as the wedding dress was ready, but at night she would dissolve what she had woven in a day … only knitted fabric. And on the ancient Greek vases of the Trojan War, there are images of nobility in tight, tight-fitting trousers, reminiscent of knitted tights from the wardrobe of the Venetian doges who lived 2500 years later.


Weaving and embroidery were famous in ancient Egypt, as evidenced by the finds of skillfully embroidered fabrics and decorations in the tombs of the pharaohs. But knitting is much easier - no special equipment is needed. Initially, they generally knitted on fingers, only later they began to use knitting needles or frames (this type of knitting is sometimes called Egyptian).

Why knitwear from that period have not been found? Because hand knitting is short-lived and poorly preserved. In addition, knitted things must have been worn by people of modest means, and for them it is important that old clothes can be loosened and another knitted. In this case, the strength of the yarn is naturally reduced.

To the envy of spiders

In the old days, every peasant woman could not help but do needlework. To dress a family, one had to weave, embroider, weave. Particularly skillful ones were involved in the manufacture of master's attire.

For the first time, Russian lace is mentioned in the Ipatiev Chronicle, where they are called gold. Because the lace was then woven from gold and silver thread. Numerous lace products of the 16th century have come down to us - in combination with gold embroidery, brocade, and precious stones. Then they appreciated not so much skillful work as the material itself. And they even sold lace by weight.

The Kremlin Armory contains a dress for the royal exit of Empress Catherine II, made of the finest silver lace. The Empress put it on only once because of its exorbitant weight - more than a pound.

In the 17th-18th centuries in European countries, expensive gold-silver lace was replaced by democratic thread lace. They quickly became fashionable, delicate lace waves fell in love with everyone: kings and innkeepers, officers and monks, princesses and peasant women. Even pirates. Many types of lace emerged at the place of their creation: "volanciennes", "Brussels" and the most amazing, precious - "Brabant". Remember, at Gumilyov: "Or finding a riot on board, tearing a pistol from his belt, so that gold is falling from the lace, from the pinkish Brabant cuffs …"

Brabant cuffs were woven from flax, which grew only in the fields of Brabant (Belgium) and gave a thread of a delicate pink hue. Only girls with delicate fingers were trusted to spin flax. In damp basements, so that the tow is wet, and the thread is elastic and thin.

Emperor Peter I ordered nuns-craftswomen from Brabant in 1725 to teach orphan girls weaving lace at the Novodevichy Convent. And the serf girls rang with bobbins from morning till night, decorating the lives of their masters with unique products.

The availability of the material and the versatility of the application have made bobbin lace truly popular. The "German" lace that came from Europe was colored with such a rich invention, such a variety of ornaments, so merged with the Slavic folk tradition that it went down in the history of world culture under the name "Russian lace".


The main centers of lace-making were Vologda, Ryazan, Yelets, Vyatka, Belev, Kirishi. Now almost all Russian lace is called Vologda lace. However, in fact, different centers of lace-making have retained their originality.

Typical for Vologda lace is a pattern in which gold, silver, colored threads are used only in lattices. The rhythm of the picture is calm, the lines are soft, rounded. Elets lace is characterized by lightness and tenderness; the ornament is performed with frequent use of mesh on a transparent, transparent background. Kirish lace, on the other hand, consists of a transparent lattice on a heavy background. Ryazan lace is distinguished by the development of bright color compositions.

Modern needlewomen have revived the famous in the past Balakhna lace, gold embroidery, "Nizhny Novgorod guipure". Linen, cotton, woolen, silk, nylon threads are widely used, they combine threads of different texture in one product, which allows you to create original, modern products.

But in Siberia weaving on bobbins has not spread so widely. Many people crochet, but only rare enthusiasts can weave Vologda lace. This work requires a lot of patience and perseverance.

Precious canvases

The art of making tapestries also has a long history. There is no exact date and place where the first tapestry was created, but the very principle of weaving was known to the ancient Egyptians. Fragments of furniture upholstery and wallpaper from burials of the 3rd century have come down to us.

The earliest surviving European tapestries are German. They were woven in monasteries or at home. In the same castles. In cold stone buildings, panels not only decorated the premises, but also helped to insulate them at least a little.


The tapestries depicted fairy-tale characters, genre scenes from the life of nobles. Pastorals with shepherdesses … Weaved and biblical subjects. Of course, in order to get a true work of art, a craftswoman must have an extraordinary talent as an artist. And that didn't always happen. At first, tapestries were woven by the castle's hermits - the wives and daughters of appanage princes. Noble ladies by rank are not supposed to do black housework, but somehow it is necessary to while away the long days and months from tournament to tournament. But when woven patterned canvases became fashionable, when every noble family wanted to decorate the tall, cold halls with precious tapestries, genuine artists were attracted to the business. And artisans. The weak hands of the princesses and their hangers-on could only create one single tapestry in their entire short life. And there were oh-oh-oh how many walls that should have been insulated and decorated.

And the production of tapestries ceased to be handicrafts, moved to workshops with machines designed for large tapestries. Now a special artist created a sketch, a template was made on its basis, and they were woven over it.

By the way, the very word tapestry, which is a synonym for tapestries, comes from the name of the Gobelin family, which in the middle of the 15th century. settled in the suburbs of Paris Saint-Marseille and became the famous "Royal Tapestry Manufactory".

Peter I did not fail even here - he invited French masters to St. Petersburg, and they founded the first tapestry studio in Russia.

Cardboards for tapestries were created by such artists as Francois Boucher, Fernand Leger, Salvador Dali, Wassily Kandinsky, Matisse, Picasso, Braque, Chagall.

Now the hi-tech style has penetrated into the art of tapestry. Contemporary artists create neutral images that can blend in with any décor. The artistic value of modern tapestries is not comparable to the old ones, but it is good that in today's minimalist apartments there is a place for a bright textile spot.

The history of the tapestry is not over … Moreover, it again fell into the hands of needlewomen. To create your own hand-made wall panels, you just need to have a strong frame and yarn of different colors from any, very different fibers. Yes, a lot of patience. On an ordinary frame, using a fork, you can create copies of old tapestries exhibited in famous museums around the world - to decorate the living room. Or tablecloths and curtains. Or bedspreads and pillows for the bedroom, soft toys and colorful pillows for the nursery - with elves, bears, ducklings.

Beads are not thrown, but lowered

Stone Age bone beads are not beads yet. They do not sparkle mysteriously, do not shimmer with a multicolored rainbow. Glass beads appeared much later.

The immediate predecessors of beads - glass beads - adorned the clothes of the ancient Egyptian pharaohs. Nomads Sarmatians and Scythians, too, long before the birth of Christ, wore clothes and shoes trimmed with small glass balls. The edges of the sleeves, the breast of the shirts, even the trousers glittered and tinkled. Not to mention the belts and hats.

The first information about beads in the clothes of the Russians dates back to the 9th-12th centuries. But it was imported. They did not produce their own in Russia at that time.

The best beads in Europe were made on the Venetian island of Murano. And also - a variety of vessels, mirrors, beads, buttons. Trade in this product brought colossal profits to the republic. Venetian glass was bought with pleasure by the countries of East Africa, European countries, and then America.

By the way, the famous navigator Marco Polo was the son of a bead master, famous at that time. And on his long journey, he did not forget to take a special interest in overseas glass jewelry - in order to use this information later to expand my father's production.

Venetian masters strictly guarded their secrets. It is now known that they necessarily added soda to the sand from which the glass mass was cooked. And then … Cruel punishment awaited the masters who sold the secret abroad - they were declared treason, killed.

But not only with a carrot, the government of the Venetian Republic also held back glassmakers. They were given an exclusive privilege - the daughters of craftsmen could marry patricians. The authorities turned a blind eye to the robbery that prevailed in Murano. But glassmakers did not disdain robbery either. In his "Memoirs" D. Casanova recalled that visitors who spent the night in a Murano hotel could pay for such negligence not only with their wallet, but also with their lives.

Venice managed to maintain a monopoly on the production of beads until the end of the 17th century. And then the craftsmen of Bohemia began to produce their own "forest glass" (they came up with the idea of adding potash to the sand), and Bohemian beads replaced the Venetian ones.

In Russia, they loved embroidery with beads. And they imported it from abroad in thousands of poods. They also tried to produce their own - in 1670 a workshop for making beads was organized in the village of Izmailovo. But then it was not possible to establish a mass production. Then M. V. Lomonosov decided to provide Russia with beads. And he organized the Ust-Ruditsk factory in 1754. But after the death of Mikhail Vasilich, production was curtailed. Beads continued to be purchased abroad.

And only in the 19th century glass factories started working in Russia. The best beads were produced in Odessa, at the Roniger factory.


Beads and bugles (elongated beads) - material for women's jewelry and needlework. But there was a time when glittering glass grains were also used for interior decoration. So, in some rooms of the Moscow Kremlin, the walls were decorated with it. In the green room of Tsarina Natalya Kirillovna, bugles were generously poured along the walls covered with green linen. The glass cylinders, placed in different directions, sparkled in the candlelight with rich, bright tints.

Decorating rooms required much more effort, when bugles were not glued, but sewn onto fabric. A drawing was applied with charcoal, glass-bead threads (lowers) were laid out on it, typed on a strong thread and sewn to the base using interception stitches. This type of embroidery is called pin-on sewing.

Subject compositions made in this technique were called "French wallpaper". This is how the "glass-bead" study of the palace in Oranienbaum was decorated.


Incidentally, Catherine II herself took part in the creation of wall panels. The great empress was not alien to her passion for needlework.

Decorated with pearls

But one should not think that before the appearance of beads, the peoples of the Russian Empire went about in a shabby meal. On the contrary, they used to decorate their costumes even more stylishly - with pearls. Especially hats. Kokoshniks of women of the northern provinces were richly embroidered with small river pearls, gold embroidery, and colored glass. Pearls were especially loved because they were very affordable. Freshwater pearl mussels were found in abundance in northern rivers and in Lake Ilmen.


Pearl sewing has been known in Russia since the 10th century. And when beads began to be used in folk costumes, the craftswomen used the same methods of working with them as in pearl sewing. Pearls were placed either over a cotton cord (sewing on a cord), or over a white hemp or cotton thread (sewing on linen), and due to this the image became convex.

Now such crowns-kokoshniks, worthy only of the Swan princess, alas, are not worn. But one shouldn't think that now there is no need to lower beads and pearls. Look at your daughter in cheap Turkish-Chinese baubles and tell her: "Let's do it together, more beautiful."

The artist has depicted for us …

Sewing with beads and pearls did not start from scratch. Before, a woman learned to sew and embroider with a simple thread. And we have not forgotten that science until now.

Antique matrons and getters were engaged in artistic embroidery, noble ladies of the Middle Ages were fond of it. It was highly appreciated by Christian culture and adapted to decorate God's temples. For years, Christ-loving townspeople and rural women have been embroidering shrouds for temples with silk. This occupation was not only a fascinating handicraft, but also a proof of the high morality of the parishioner.


In Russia, embroidery was used to decorate both household items - towels, tablecloths, clothes - and church shrouds, shroud, vestments of clergy. When Peter opened a window to Europe, Russian needlewomen enriched the subjects of their embroidery with subjects from European paintings and tapestries. Flower compositions, landscapes, pastorals, genre scenes popular in France, Germany, Belgium and Holland have appeared in Russian interiors as well.

And only the turbulent XX century with its technical achievements, wars and social upheavals weakened our attachment to embroidery.

But he didn't kill at all. The needlewomen still tried to decorate their life, their home, no matter how poor it was, with embroidery. Even in those years when beautiful threads were not available, the craftswomen obtained the necessary means of producing home comfort from old tights, multi-colored patches.


And now! What room for the imagination. Freeze briefly in front of boxes of floss at a dry goods store. I just want to immediately buy a canvas of all sizes, hoops, needles and the whole rainbow of colored silky frames. And with their help to depict a plot from the life of fairy-tale creatures, or a touching landscape, or a bright ornament on a tablecloth with napkins …

Or follow in the footsteps of the great artist and transfer to the fabric the unfading Madonna of Raphael or the sultry madness of Van Gogh …

Shred to shred

Flap sewing is perhaps the earliest of all. Appeared along with the cloth. Only then it was not perceived as a separate handicraft. It's just that every piece of linen or wool weaved was priceless, and every piece went into business. Even if it was a slightly different color, it was used when sewing clothes or making bedspreads, pillowcases. The colored pieces were also suitable for decorating items. Found applications made 3000 years ago.

And as an independent type of decorative and applied art, patchwork mosaic originated in England in the first half of the 18th century. Then they began to bring Indian calicoes of beautiful colors and patterns to the country. Having an Indian blanket in the house was considered a sign of wealth. But the government of England, taking care of its own woolen and silk factories, prohibited the import of Indian fabrics. Of course, this did not stop the smugglers, but chintz became scarce and expensive. Thrifty housewives, having cut clothes out of it, did not throw out the scraps. Linen or woolen products were decorated with bright appliqués. Many small pieces were used to create beautiful patchwork quilts.

Together with the settlers, this type of handicraft came to America, and became a national art form. The quilt is a must-have for a traditional American home.

The idea of the geometric selection of multi-colored pieces of fabric originates, rather, from embroidery. Ornaments, for example. Or from the no less ancient art of mosaic compositions. It is not for nothing that sewing from a patch is called "patchwork mosaic".


Currently, this handicraft is no longer regarded as a way out of difficult life situations. It has become an art form. The expositions of museums in countries such as the USA, Germany, Sweden, Switzerland, Australia contain entire collections of products made in the style of patchwork technique - patchwork. There is such a collection in the All-Russian Museum of Decorative, Applied and Folk Art.

The reason for the appearance of patchwork in Russia was, of course, poverty. From the remnants of old clothes, women tried to make new ones. Or make something else, needed in everyday life. Things were sewn, altered, refurbished. The scraps were sorted: everything that was suitable for sewing went to the patchwork quilts, curtains; paths were woven from very worn ones, terry rugs were sewn. "Little" boys and girls up to eight years old were not supposed to wear new clothes at all; they had to alter the things of adult family members.

Until the 18th century, clothes in Russia were mainly made from linen woven on a home weaving mill. Long and laborious work, from growing flax to making fabrics, made one be thrifty. Therefore, both the cut of folk clothing and the techniques of its sewing assumed the wasteless use of the material.

Well, when calico appeared, a significant enrichment of the patchwork tradition began. Cheap, practical, colorful fabrics were readily used not only in peasants, but also in city houses: they sewed clothes from them, and patchwork quilts from multi-colored remnants. Over time, the traditions of patchwork gave way to the industrial production of clothing and household items. And only rare enthusiasts continued to sew patchwork quilts and weave colorful rugs.

Now patchwork is back in vogue. If you take this sewing seriously, you can make great things, from rugs and blankets to blouses, vests and jackets.

Patchwork items attract attention with their variety and multicolor. They are suitable for kitchen decoration (napkins, oven mitts, tablecloths), bedroom (pillowcases, blankets, blankets) or living room (decorative panel), and as accessories (fancy bag, wallet), or clothing (elegant summer suit or quilted vest).

Take a closer look at old things, at the remains of a long-worn blouse or baby dress. From bright shreds, cut willfully and boldly, you can create an amazing abstract canvas, which will match the most prominent place in the living room. It will become the subject of your rightful pride. And white envy of your abilities of those who have not found use for their stocks of unnecessary rags.

And how many more equally interesting, absorbing all the essence of activities there are in the world. Optional but very addicting. Batik, macrame, applique, birch bark weaving …

In my opinion, this is all much better than any new passites, sedatives, drugs and tranquilizers. This is a gentle rest and a cozy silence … This is oil for agitated nerves and a way out of the most desperate situations. And also - this is a keen sense of inspiration, excitement. Search. Creativity. It is the ability to be creative that distinguishes us, people, from other creatures of this world.

Create and find …