The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



(until the early 20th century, the Bogoiavlenskaia sloboda [tax-exempt settlement] of Mstera), an urban-type settlement in Viazniki Raion, Vladimir Oblast, RSFSR. It is located on the Kliaz’ma River, 14 km from the Mstera railroad station (on the Kovrov-Gorky line).

Mstera is one of the principal centers for the Russian folk art of miniature painting on lacquer ware. Beginning in the late 17th or early 18th century, an icon-painting industry arose in Mstera and subsequently became the settlement’s primary industry.

After the reform of 1861, there was intensive development of artistic trades (the manufacture of icons, religious articles, and satin stitch) and commerce. The peasant I. A. Golyshev, an ethnographer and artist, set up a lithography shop in the settlement.

In Soviet times, the Proletarskoe Iskusstvo artists’ artel was organized in Mstera (1931); since 1960 it has been a factory. The settlement is the site of the Detskaia Igrushka and Iuvelir factories, as well as embroidery, oil-cloth, shoe, garment, and furniture factories. Mstera has an art museum and is a tourist center.


Semenovskii, D. Mstera. Moscow, 1939.
Tits, A. A. Po okrainnym zemliam Vladimirskim (Viazniki, Mstera, Gorokhovets). Moscow, 1969.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
The exhibits cover the main regions that have declared themselves in this area: Moscow, Tver, the Volga region, the Vladimir villages of Palekh and Mstera, as well as Nevyansk in the Urals.
The most striking exhibits include the outstanding works of Mstera icon painters who founded their workshops in Moscow in the 19-20th centuries and became the founders of the new style.
Such works are very scarce.' According to Dutch dealer Ferenc Toth, there is some appetite amongst collectors for late 18th-century pieces from Palekh and 19th-century examples from Mstera. Difficulties include the lack of signatures or even named artists and the absence of dates.
Fedoskino is situated 25 miles north of Moscow and is one of four villages famous for these miniature paintings on lacquer, the other three being Palekh, Kholui and Mstera.