The 160th anniversary of Maria Tenisheva

The 160th anniversary of the talented artist, philanthropist, patron of arts and public figure - Maria Tenisheva is celebrated in the first days on June.

Maria Tenisheva started her creative career as an opera singer, later she studied fine arts in St. Petersburg and in Paris.

Her marriage with Prince V.Tenishev, Russian industrialist, the owner of the Bryansk machine-building plant in Bezhitsa (the largest in Russia) gave her the possibility to be engaged in patronage, charity and collecting.

The Princess Maria Tenisheva's activities in the estate of Talashkino brought her the greatest fame. Talashkino became the important center of Russian artistic life. Prominent representatives of the national culture visited the place and worked there. Maria Tenisheva organized art workshops where the artists created various decorative and applied art objects in the Neo-Russian style.

A unique school was opened in Flenovo (a village near Talashkino). Peasants’ children were taught to read, write and count in this school. They got the basic agricultural knowledge as well. They were also taught the art of pottery and ceramics, painting, embroidery and played Russian folk instruments. Later Princess Tenisheva opened a free drawing school in St. Petersburg.

Carried away by collecting, Tenisheva created large collection of Russian and foreign graphics. She presented the part of it to the Russian Museum in 1898, the year when it was opened. At the same time, she began to compose a collection of decorative, applied and folk art in her estate Talashkino. This collection was exhibited in the Louvre museum and later she presented this unique historical and ethnographic collection to the Smolensk branch of the Moscow Archaeological Institute.

She achieved great success in the enamel art, having received recognition in Europe. Freely combining enamel with wood, metal, bone and leather, she was looking for new expressive forms and her own artistic style.

A variety of decorative and applied art objects (candlesticks, chests, boxes, etc.), made by Maria Tenisheva, received worldwide recognition and were exhibited in Paris, Rome, London, Brussels, Prague, winning the highest awards everywhere.

Full biography of Maria Tenisheva - in the section Authors.