Very delicate hand painted 5 piece matryoshka. Very well executed. High artistic level. Portrayed: girl with cat. Matt finish. Funny detail are the different colors and patterns of the Russian shawls on each doll. Funny detail are the different colors and patterns of the Russian shawls on each doll.
A matryoshka doll, also known as a Russian nesting doll is a set of wooden dolls of decreasing size placed one inside another. The name ‘matryoshka’ literally ‘little matron’, is a diminutive form of Russian female first name ‘Matryona’.
A set of matryoshkas consists of a wooden figure which separates, top from bottom, to reveal a smaller figure of the same sort inside, which has, in turn, another figure inside of it, and so on.
The first Russian nested doll set was made in 1890 by Vasily Zvyozdochkin from a design by Sergey Malyutin, who was a folk crafts painter at Abramtsevo. Traditionally the outer layer is a woman, dressed in a sarafan, a long and shapeless traditional Russian peasant jumper dress. The figures inside may be of either gender; the smallest, innermost doll is typically a baby turned from a single piece of wood. Much of the artistry is in the painting of each doll, which can be very elaborate. The dolls often follow a theme; the themes may vary, from fairy tale characters to Soviet leaders. Matryoshka dolls are often referred to as ‘babushka dolls’, babushka meaning ‘grandmother’ or ‘elderly woman’.