Painting on Porcelain and Enamel

Since the first years of Artel of Ancient Painting had adopted their methods in porcelainpainting. First there were porcelain plates painted by egg colours and covered by lacquer. They were decorative only as the layer of egg colours and lacquer could hardly hold on glaze. In the spring of 1929 in the laboratory of the Moscow ceramics museum I.M.Bakanov and I.I.Golikov, Palekh masters, began to paint on porcelain in traditional method for that kind of material. Then A.V.Kotukhin, I.V.Markichev and D.N.Butorin joined them. In 1930 there was equipped a store for porcelain glazing and its production began. In pre-war period specialists on porcelain painting were trained in Vocational school (Palekh Art College later on).

Porcelain painting requires changing of some traditional manners of lacquer miniature painting. Employed materials must be changed first. They had to give up of egg colours. It was connected with pictional effects. Porcelain painting requires another processing in light and shade than icon painting, another manner in putting light in shade, keeping background in light, high light characterizing salient places of volume form. The painter must find delicate relations with white colour in transition from one colour to another. The master must keep in his mind the colour composition as he receives the result only after glazing it in the stove. He must put one colour but see another and it is the greatest difficulty. The painting by gold was not difficult but it required the right correlation of gold and colour.

Palekh painting on enamel has begun since the summer of 1929. I.M.Bakanov was the first to do it. It was an enamel brooch, done by enamel colours and glazed on primus stove. It was lucky in art and technic. Painting technic on the enamel was like on that on the porcelain.

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