Mstera Miniature

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 It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Mstera Miniature


a type of Russian folk miniature painting done in tempera on lacquered objects, primarily objects made from papier-mâché (various types of small boxes). The art developed on the basis of a local icon-painting industry in the settlement of Mstera (where the Drevnerusskaia Narodnaia Zhivopis’ artel was organized in 1923, and the Proletarskoe Iskusstvo artel in 1931 [became a factory in I960]). The technique of making the miniatures was borrowed from the Fedoskino master craftsmen.

Mstera miniatures depict subjects from everyday life, folklore, history, and literature. They are marked by warm and soft colors, deep landscape backgrounds often extending into blue distances, small and stocky human figures, and delicate border designs worked in gold.

Mstera miniaturists have included N. P. Klykov, A. F. Kotiagin, A. I. Briagin, V. N. Ovchinnikov, I. N. Morozov, E. V. Iurin, and I. A. Fomichev. The foremost masters include N. I. Shishakov, L. A. Fomichev, Iu. M. Vavanov, and P. I. Sosin.


Bakushinskii, A. V., and V. M. Vasilenko. Iskusstvo Mstery. Moscow, 1934.
Valikov, G. G. Kraski Mstery. Moscow, 1959. [Koromyslov, B. I.] Lakovaia miniatiura Mstery. Leningrad, 1972.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.