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Museum Collection

A Box from Palekh

A box made by the People’s Artist of Russia B.N. Kukuliyev was presented to Mikhail Alexandrovich Sholokhov by the “Pravda” newspapermen. The inner side of the lid reads: “To Mikhail Alexandrovich Sholokhov on the day of his 60th  anniversary from the pravdists, May, 1965”.

B.N. Kukuliyev (06.07.1936) is a theatre artist, icon-painter, miniaturist. He participated in many art exhibitions in our country and abroad, he is the member of the USSR Union of Artists, the laureate of the State Prize of Russia, of the Lenin Komsomol Prize, the People’s Artist of the RSFSR. In 1977 he was awarded Big Gold Medal of the International Book Fair, in 1978 he was awarded medals and Bulgarian Order of “Kirill and Mefodiy” of the first degree. In 1990 Boris Nikolayevich became the organizer and leader of the creative studio “Paleshane” (Palekh People).

The lid of the big box (19,8x26,7x5,7 sm) bears a portrait of the writer. Near it there are personages of his books. The miniaturist portrayed Sholokhov at the moment of his creative absorption, he is looking at the personages of his works “And Quiet Flows the Don”, “Virgin Soil Upturned”, “The Fate of a Man”.

On the foreground there are Semyon Davydov, Makar Nagulnov, Andrey Razmyotnov and little Fedotka. On the right there is a scene from the novel “And Quiet Flows the Don”: Cossack women are seeing off Cossack men to the war. On the top of the composition there is a lorry against the background of destroyed buildings. The driver is holding out his hands to a boy. They are Andrey Sokolov and Vanyushka from the story “The Fate of a Man”.

The box is made in the original style typical for the Palekh varnished articles. Palekh painting is characterized by miniature detailed painting with the general mild tone of picturing, a variety of compositional elements and their picturesqueness, elaborate painting of the smallest details using tinsel gold in the miniature and in its ornamental frame, the use of black background and red colour against it.