Porcelain, Room 3

In this gallery dedicated to 20th-century Russian porcelain, one can't help but notice the abundance of artists' names. Each name carries a narrative of a long journey into the mastery of their craft, years of study under renowned mentors, and a wealth of experience. 

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But what truly sets these works apart is their unmistakable artistic vision – a manifestation of individuality, recognition, and personal expression in the realm of decorative and applied arts.

The exposition, while centered on the Soviet era, maintains a strong connection to its antecedents, the artists and schools of the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Take, for example, Pavel Kamenskii (1858-1917). Though not a Soviet artist per se, his celebrated depictions of Russian ethnicities were continued at the renamed Leningrad Porcelain Factory, formerly the Imperial Porcelain Factory, long after his demise. Displayed in the room are three porcelain figures from this distinguished series.

Grigory Zimin (1875-1958) began his journey in 1886 as an apprentice in the painting workshop of the Imperial Porcelain Factory and became a landscape painter in 1893. He continued his craft at the reorganized Lomonosov Porcelain Factory, creating timeless art pieces irrespective of the shifting historical and political landscape. One of his last pieces, the "Naval Museum" vase (1957), is exhibited in this room.

Alexey Vorobevskii's (1906-1992) artistic style was shaped by the influence of the "World of Art" movement. Starting in 1926, he worked as an artist at the Leningrad Lomonosov Porcelain Factory, wh ere his works, marked by their vibrant and whimsical nature, became instantly recognizable. His wartime and post-war creations are filled with fairy-tale elements, celebrating life with a burst of colors and patterns. Vorobyevskii’s later works evolved into colorful graphic miniatures on porcelain, reminiscent of traditional Russian lubok prints, continuing his themes of joy, festivity, and the triumph of good over evil.

Anna Efimova (1897-1962), a graduate of Kuzma Petrov-Vodkin’s workshop, worked alongside Vorobevskii. Her paintings, featuring ripe fruits or contrasting flowers, blend academic precision with a hint of still-life spontaneity. Her brushstrokes, distinct and expressive, create a unique decorative impact. The room features two versions of her "Saffron-Chinese" apple (1958) theme, showcasing her range from bold to subtle brushwork, yet both marked by expressive, painterly volumes.

Lydia Lebedinskaia (1908-1983), another luminary of the Leningrad Lomonosov Porcelain Factory, was known for her finesse in various forms, genres, and styles. Her vases "Flowers" (1939) and "Blue phloxes" (1940) enchant viewers with their delicate colors and elegant forms. A vase from the 1970s by another prominent artist of the era, Lyubov Blak (1908-1983), exhibits a similar style.

Ivan Riznich (1908-1998) was an exceptional artist of the Lomonosov Porcelain Factory, whose work "Wolves" (1976) can be seen here. His portrayal of animal themes, particularly dogs, became a hallmark of Soviet-era porcelain. His "Wolves" vase, when rotated, reveals a dynamic story unfolding amidst the pack.

The creative genius of Alexandra Shchekatikhina-Pototskaya (1892-1967), a disciple of Ivan Bilibin and Nicholas Roerich, Felix Vallotton, and Maurice Denis, stands out for its uniqueness in Soviet art. Working at the Lomonosov Porcelain Factory from 1918, her works, like the "Poseidon and Amphitrite" vase and the "Vase with flowers" plate, reflect the influences of the Paris School and the Nabis group, marked by expressive poses and dynamic compositions.

Mikhail Mokh (1911-1978), the long-serving chief artist of the Lomonosov Porcelain Factory, was known for his socialist realism style. However, his later work "The evening" (1963), showcased here, takes on a more abstract approach, evoking the sensory experiences of dusk and twilight.

Inna Akvilonova (born in 1930), invited by Mokh, described porcelain as a material that allows for the expression of nuanced emotions. Her "Rose in a glass" plate demonstrates this, combining underglaze and overglaze techniques to create a sense of depth and volume.

Nina Slavina (1928-2000), who became the chief artist of the Lomonosov Porcelain Factory in 1978, left a lasting impact with her works, such as the "Memories of ancient Pergamon" vase. Her "Eve" dish (1972) is a testament to the artistic breadth of Soviet artists, incorporating elements of Fauvism.

This gallery showcases the diversity and freedom of Russian artists, even during politically constrained Soviet times. Their works in porcelain – a medium as delicate as their dreams and aspirations – reflect their self-expression, their love for nature and fantasy, and their quest for beauty and eternity. This art form becomes an integral part of daily life, offices, or museums, subtly making the world a bit kinder and reminding us to be responsible stewards of our fragile present and future.

 'Vase “Fruits”'
Vase “Fruits”
 'Vase “Flowers and animals”'
Vase “Flowers and animals”
Alexey Vorobevskii 'Vase “Fairy trees”'
Vase “Fairy trees”
Pavel Kamenskii 'Porcelain figure “Lamute (Even)”'
Porcelain figure “Lamute (Even)”
Pavel Kamenskii 'Porcelain figure “Olonets woman”'
Porcelain figure “Olonets woman”
Pavel Kamenskii 'Porcelain figure “Kirghiz woman”'
Porcelain figure “Kirghiz woman”
Alexandra Shchekatikhina-Pototckaya 'Dish “Vase with flowers”'
Dish “Vase with flowers”
Nina Slavina 'Dish “Eve”'
Dish “Eve”
 'Plaque “Alenushka”'
Plaque “Alenushka”
 'Plaque “Brother Ivanushka”'
Plaque “Brother Ivanushka”
Inna Akvilonova 'Plate “Rose in a glass”'
Plate “Rose in a glass”
 'Porcelain figure “Uzbek woman with a basket”'
Porcelain figure “Uzbek woman with a basket”
Mikhail Mokh 'Vase “The evening”'
Vase “The evening”
Lyubov Blak 'Vase “Rose”'
Vase “Rose”
Lydia Lebedinskaia 'Vase “Blue phloxes”'
Vase “Blue phloxes”
Lydia Lebedinskaia 'Vase “Flowers”'
Vase “Flowers”
 'Vase “Warm winter”'
Vase “Warm winter”
Eduard Krimmer 'Vase'
Nina Slavina 'Vase “Memories of ancient Pergamon”'
Vase “Memories of ancient Pergamon”
 'Vase “Lay of Igor`s Warfare“'
Vase “Lay of Igor`s Warfare“
Alexey Vorobevskii 'Vase “Fairy tales of Pushkin”'
Vase “Fairy tales of Pushkin”
Alexey Vorobevskii 'Vase “Winter fun”'
Vase “Winter fun”
Alexey Vorobevskii 'Cake stand “Ballet”'
Cake stand “Ballet”
Alexey Vorobevskii 'Plate “Picture gallery”'
Plate “Picture gallery”
Alexey Vorobevskii 'Plate “Dream”'
Plate “Dream”
Alexey Vorobevskii 'Plate “Spring”'
Plate “Spring”
Alexey Vorobevskii 'Plate “Venice”'
Plate “Venice”
Ivan Riznich 'Vase “Wolves”'
Vase “Wolves”
Evgenia Oleynik 'Vase “Peonies”'
Vase “Peonies”
Alexey Vorobevskii 'Vase "Russian cockerels"'
Vase "Russian cockerels"
Alexey Vorobevskii 'Vase with monogram “CHA”'
Vase with monogram “CHA”
Anna Efimova 'Vase “Oliva”'
Vase “Oliva”
Alexandra Shchekatikhina-Pototckaya 'Vase “Poseidon and Amphitrite”'
Vase “Poseidon and Amphitrite”
Vladimir Gorodetskii 'Vase “Leaves”'
Vase “Leaves”
Anna Efimova 'Plate “Saffron-Chinese”-1'
Plate “Saffron-Chinese”-1
Anna Efimova 'Plate “Saffron-Chinese”-2'
Plate “Saffron-Chinese”-2
Alexey Vorobevskii 'Vase “Flowers and corals”'
Vase “Flowers and corals”
Grigory Zimin 'Vase "Naval Museum"'
Vase "Naval Museum"