The old fascination is new again

I bought this 1976 copy of “Russian Peasant Design Motifs for Needleworkers and Craftsmen” by Vladimir Stasov a few years back from a Lakeside bookshop in a country town, where I used to live. The town had Swiss Italian heritage, and it would seem a touch of Russian as well.

The motifs are from Stasov’s “Russian Folk Ornament” (1872) Part 1 which contained a compendium of folk designs from embroidery, lace and weaving. The idea was to have the designs stimulate contemporary artists of the day in their art making. There are birds, chariots, horses, women in peasant skirts and flowers galore. In their original form they were often  rendered in the happy colour red.

You can see examples here on the Russian Fashion Blog.

For me, as a textile and doll artist in Australia, I find the designs compelling—simple, but powerful in their line and composition. Stasov was right even 130 years ago.






3 Replies to “The old fascination is new again”

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