Decorative Arts and Jewellery

Enamel

The collection of enamels of the Museum "Collection" contains works of Russian and Western European masters.

Enamel is called a durable glassy coating formed during firing from a special glass alloy applied to the surface of a metal object in the form of a powder, pigmented with various impurities of metal oxides. After firing, it turns into a hard, shiny mass with stable, bright colors. Numerous enamel techniques (champlevé, cloisonné, filigree, relief, casting, guilloche, stained glass, painted, etc.) make it possible to variously decorate an object made of precious or base metals, creating a unique decorative solution.

The art of giving color to metal has been known since ancient times. Various enamel techniques were used in the applied arts of ancient Egypt, India and China. Art enamel achieved great perfection in the art of Byzantium and Russian masters, who became the successors of this tradition of enamel business and achieved in subsequent times not only high perfection, but also world recognition. The items of the collection, created in the 17th - early 20th centuries both by unknown masters and by the largest artists and leading jewelry enterprises in Moscow and St. Petersburg, give a fairly complete picture of the level of development of enamel business in Russia, the richness of the artistic language of Russian masters and their stylistic preferences.

Both in Russia and in the countries of Western Europe, the art of enamel was widely developed. Large centers of enamel business were located in France, Switzerland and Austria, whose masters worked in various techniques and styles, often imitating oriental samples. Various items of European masters, decorated with painted and champlevé enamels, are presented in the museum Collection.


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