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Yurin Yevgeniy Vasilyevich (1898 - 1983)  Click to play

Icon-painter. Miniaturist.

Born in Mstera to the family of icon-painters. Left the Mstera Icon-Painting School (1909-1913). Painted icons in Mstera studios. Member of the "Rabis" Union (1921). Co-founder and active member of "Old Russian Paintig Artel" and the "Proletarian Art" Artel (1923-1931). Mastered miniature painting techniques at the department labs of the Handicrafts Museum in Moscow (1931). Art exhibitions participant since 1937. Member of the USSR Union of Artists since 1940. Took part in decorative wall-painting of shops in Moscow (1939-1940). Costumes designer and scene-painter of the Vladimir Drama Theatre (1944). Designer of book ornamentation (1950-1953). Honoured Art Worker of Russia (1959). People's Artist of the RSFSR. Developed Mstera's distinctive floral filigree ornamental miniatures.

The artistic manner of veteran Mstera painter Yevgeny Yurin is particularly distinctive. In the mid-30s he created an original style of painting that came to be known as the "Yurin ornament". Artists in both Mstera and Kholuy had long been fascinated with the art of ornamentation. Various splendid garments and buildings in ancient icons of Moscow and Stroganov schools were completely embellished with golden ornamentation. Later, miniaturists of Palekh, Mstera and Kholuy widely used the golden ornaments to set off their designs.

Yevgeny Yurin went further. The central component of his paintings is usually a highly conventionalized still-nature -- a bouquet of flowers, fruits or berries set against a brown, black, green of blue grod and encircled on all sides of a casket cover with interlaced scrolls, starlets, spots, petals and leaflets. In the corners they are arranged in larger patterns, their shapes harmonious with the central picture. It is amazing how easily, almost playfully, he uses the same simple elements to create unrepetitive, yet stylistically integral ornamental compositions in which the main decorative function is performed by the pattern.

Mstera Ornamental boxes are truly extraordinary. Here is a translation from a book on Yevgeniy Yurin by L. Rozova on page 69:

"In the 1950s Yurin created a series of works, which incorporated his earlier ideas and stylistic tendencies, which have been hidden and in odds, they now gain overwhelming weight and are united in a somewhat different ornamental-decorative style. This is Yurin's second style and it created a new important stage in the development of Mstera's ornamental art.

"During these years, Yurin incorporated thick strips of lace like patterns; this is the period when the artist created his most elegant miniature works, full of tender charm. Yurin's ornamental lacquer miniature "Flowers" (lacquer box, 1951) is a bright manifestation of the joy of life, gravitation to patterns, and fairytale like decorative play. In this miniature, the artist for the first time implemented a whimsical pattern strip as the thick framework around the center composition of a perfected (traditional) Yurin rose bouquet.

"These patterns consist of rhythmical alternations of paired rosettes, heart shaped geometric figures and a multitude of small circles, placed along all lines of the above figures.

"Painted in a light, generalized manner, with a thin openwork (ajurnaya) play of gold against the black background, this miniature work transmits the rich joyful sounds of peculiar lyrics of an ornamental composition on a domestic object.

"In his ornamental miniature "Flowers", along with his other works of this period ("Fruit", lacquer box, 1951; "Floral Bouquet", lacquer box, 1955), we trace the conception and further development of a special lyrical poetic style in ornamental-decorative miniature.

Floral Bouquet by E.V. Yurin, 1955

"The height of this peculiar ornamental-poetic genre and the apogee of his life affirming moods Yurin achieves in "Floral Bouquet" (lacquer box, 1955). Echoes of Yurin's prior period may be felt from the general idea of the "Floral Bouquet". But the picturesque incarnation greatly exceeds the boundaries of that level. This not only is revealed in the beautiful rhythmic placement of colorful flowers in the center of composition, neither just in the original enhancement of soft tones of color with splashes of paint in the shaded areas. But mostly in the discovery of shapes and scaling of the picture and the background, in a carpet like coloring, all of which makes the work of art a true masterpiece. In the center of the composition of this conservative square shape a bouquet of flowers consisting of bright pink reddish roses, white lilies and purple and yellowish red small wild flowers exists on a gray green circular medallion background. Larger flowers are stylized, characteristic of the Mstera art tradition, but also keep their natural shapes, since their relative interpreted scale are revealed through enhancing the soft tones with splashes of color in the darker areas (shades); here the shapes are formed by color and receive realistic features. Due to his unique style, Yurin could not resist creating a deep dimension on the flat black lacquer surface of a box, in which his sill life objects were able to breathe. And in a bouquet everything breathes. While achieving all this, Yurin kept in check with rules and requirements of decorative art on domestic objects. That is why the artist, while depicting the floral bouquet in its natural, realistic rhythm, dissolved it into its decorative surroundings. The floral bouquet first is framed by a strip of a thick colorful pattern with a floral ornament, then through a thin strip of black background, untouched by paint, then a stylized garland of gracefully bent stems, painted with gold paint. After the garland comes a light grid of small rosettes, painted with gold paint in a half tone, with hardly noticeable brown red sprinkles, painted in a quarter of a tone. The square grid, resembling a field sowed with flowers, has large silhouette ornaments positioned by its corners, and by its sides is bordered by with a similar but smaller golden garland. The work is exceptional due to the proportions of the strips, the scale of shapes and the harmony of color. Every detail gives the work a special carpet (rug) like decoration. The charm of "Bouquet of Flowers" is in its special emotional atmosphere, which creates joyful emotions in both the artist and the viewer."


Cover Dugina G. N., Pozdnyakova V. V., 1996. THE ART OF MSTIORA. CATALOG OF MSTIORA ART MUSEUM EXHIBITS. Vladimir "POKROVA" Publishers ISBN 5-87393-002-3

. ., . ., 1996. "" 600025, . , -, 9. . 2-63-98 "" 6000, . , . III , 68. . 2-53-34

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