Video: Service for the Emperor: How the serf of Prince Volkonsky revived ancient technology and became a famous manufacturer
2023 Author: Richard Flannagan | [email protected]. Last modified: 2023-11-26 05:58
Born a serf, he achieved wealth and success by his labor - he created the most famous jewelry business in Russia, restored the old technologies of Russian enamel, won the attention of the imperial court and opened his own school, where innovative methods of preparation were applied. Pavel Ovchinnikov, a jeweler, industrialist, thinker and teacher, became a key figure in Russian culture in the mid-19th century …
Pavel Akimovich Ovchinnikov was born in 1830 in the Podolsk district and was a serf of Prince Volkonsky, but he was saved from the usual fate of a serf by his early and unusually vivid drawing abilities. His brother received his freedom a long time ago and kept a gold and silver workshop in Moscow.
Paul joined him as an apprentice, and eight years later he was able to get his own freedom. Ovchinnikov was lucky again - his chosen one received a good dowry, which he successfully invested in the development of his own jewelry enterprise. Four years later, the turnover of his enterprise reached one and a half million rubles.
He first exhibited his work in 1865 at an exhibition of manufactured works. However, there he was modest and presented items for services based on drawings by Academician Bornikov.
And then there is an endless ladder of success. The Ovchinnikov factory takes part in major exhibitions in Russia and abroad, invariably receiving high awards, and soon becomes a supplier to the imperial court. The factory received the right to use the state emblem in its products.
In Paris, the jeweler won a silver medal for a writing instrument dedicated to the liberation of the serfs in 1861.
They wrote about him - "Ovchinnikov is known throughout Russia, and this fame was acquired by him." It was a rare combination of energy, charm, perseverance, enterprise, rational mind and high artistic talent. He solely managed the enterprise and made significant efforts to advertise in Russia and abroad.
Ovchinnikov was not just a successful manufacturer - he was a real popularizer of the enamel business. Never before have factory products been covered with such complex stained glass enamels.
Ovchinnikov and his colleagues used a wide variety of options for using enamels - small inclusions or large-scale complex ornaments … Ovchinnikov was not afraid to combine enamel with niello and other methods of decoration.
In addition, he boldly experimented with styles, interpreting, for example, chinoiserie and other oriental trends. True, flirting with the theme of the "East", he did not forget about the roots - for example, a luxurious service with views of Moscow was created for the polytechnic exhibition of 1872.
At the same time, a steady desire to interpret Russian national motives was formed in the decorative and applied arts. Engravings with views of cities, scenes from Russian history, popular prints and ornaments - the spectrum of images undeservedly forgotten by artists was so great that everyone could find in the depths of Russian culture something close to his tastes.
Pavel Ovchinnikov skillfully weaved "Old Russian" motifs with oriental ones, achieving expressive and impressive plastic lines. Ovchinnikov and his masters studied the experience of jewelers of the pre-Petrine era, in order to obtain something original and at the same time "truly Russian", conducted experimental development of new techniques for creating enamel.
So it was at Ovchinnikov's factory, after a long search, that the seemingly long and irretrievably lost cloisonné enamel technique was restored - however, it did not become widespread. But window or stained glass enamel, which is extremely rarely used both in Russia and in the West, was developed precisely by the masters of Ovchinnikov.
The manufacturer did not hide at all the achievements and research investigations of his enterprise, willingly shared his findings and scientific information in his books.
In addition, he collaborated with many famous artists of his time, for example, Lanceray. The national flavor of Ovchinnikov's products was appreciated by foreigners who stopped by in Moscow or St. Petersburg, where the factory's shops were located.
Return to Paris without a souvenir with the Ovchinnikov factory stamp? Impossible! Sets, bowls, goblets covered with stained glass enamel were presented at diplomatic meetings and presented to important persons throughout Europe.
But the priority of the factory's work remained the creation of church utensils - for more than sixty years churches and monasteries turned to Ovchinnikov's factory. Elements of the decoration created by the masters of the factory can be seen in the Cathedral of the Savior on Spilled Blood in St. Petersburg and the Cathedral of Christ the Savior in Moscow.
In addition, Ovchinnikov was a good manager and teacher. He strove to ensure that the workers did not need anything, and the organization of their work and life was at a height. He outlined his views in the revolutionary book for that time "Some data on the question of the way of life of workers and students in factories and craft establishments."
He was one of the first manufacturers to open a craft and art school, on the territory of which one hundred and thirty students lived, who for six years mastered both general education and drawing, modeling, calligraphy. Pupils of the school regularly received awards at various exhibitions, which testifies to the high level of their training. The students worked in the factory, but did only work related to their education and increasing their skills. It was strictly forbidden to use adolescents for rough work, cleaning, maintenance.
His death did not lead to the destruction of the enterprise. Ovchinnikov's sons inherited his entrepreneurial spirit, love of experimentation and sense of style. The works they presented in 1900 in Paris have received many compliments as innovative and technically challenging. The factory was closed after the revolution and its property was nationalized. Now the preserved products of Pavel Ovchinnikov's factory are sold at auctions for a lot of money both in Russia and abroad.
Until recently, this kind of art, like vytynanka, was considered endangered. However, the artist from Lvov Daria Alyoshkina found a new way to draw attention to the forgotten Ukrainian folk craft. She creates large-sized curtains for modern interiors of residential and public institutions. Taking paper and a sharp knife in her hands, she not only revived an ancient art form, but also earned world recognition. Our publication contains an amazing selection of her large-scale openwork panels from b
What became famous for the famous rival friends who drew together and argued a lot: Lucian Freud and Francis Bacon
While some artists are establishing contacts with others in order to acquire useful, and sometimes even profitable acquaintances, others are sorting out the relationship throughout their lives. Lucian Freud and Francis Bacon, two of the most famous contemporary artists in the world who cleverly combined friendship and rivalry for many years, were no exception
How the son of a serf and a prince became the favorite artist of the empress and the Moscow nobility: Fyodor Rokotov
Thanks to this artist, the national history of the second half of the 18th century becomes illustrated. Rokotov's paintings are both an acquaintance with those who played an important role in public life of that time, and a chance to see those in power from the “human” side. Did these portraits have an exceptional resemblance to the original? Apparently not - otherwise Rokotov would not have enjoyed such success with his contemporaries
Artificial intelligence "revived" the heroes of famous paintings, cartoons and presidents from banknotes
One graphic artist decided to use modern technology to see how the characters of great canvases, as well as other drawn heroes, could look like if they suddenly came to life and left pictures, television screens, banknotes … The name of this experimenter is Nathan Shipley and he lives in San Francisco. The results of the artist's work, or rather, the artificial intelligence controlled by him, are impressive. Mona Lisa, characters of popular cartoons, political
How the serf "The Queen of Spades" painted Nevsky Prospect and became famous throughout the country: Vasily Sadovnikov
The unfamiliar Petersburg of the past - quiet, cozy, somehow sunny, views of the Nevsky and the interiors of rich houses … Watercolors and lithographs by Vasily Sadovnikov are not striking, although they fascinate with many details and impeccable drawing. But his life itself, at first glance, is just as calm, is striking. The serf of the Queen of Spades, self-taught, who became a popularly beloved artist in the middle of the 19th century