Matryoshka Nesting Dolls
The first significant piece of lacquer work in Russia was created between 1720 and 1722: a lacquer cabinet in the Dutch style was constructed in the palace of Monplaisir in St.Petersburg, and was ordered by Russian tsar Peter the Great. Peter the Great, who radically re-orientated his country in almost every aspect and bringing up the art to the European standards at that time. Russian lacquer work reached its highest point in the 19th century with the exquisite creations of the Lukutin workshops whose founder Peter Ivanovich Korobov replicated the forms and decorative style of German Stobwasser's lacquer work in Braunschweig and who founded his own company near Moscow in 1795. Soon German themes were replaced by motifs treasured to Russian culture. An amazing diversity of lacquer techniques was developed in the manufacture, which achieved virtuoso effects by painted imitations of tortoiseshell, mother of pearl, malachite, birch bark and other materials, besides decorative techniques such as carving and inlay.