History of Imperial (Lomonosov) Porcelain - Vorobyevsky

2006 marked 100th anniversary of Alexey Vorobyevsky, famous painter of Russia who worked at Lomonosov factory. After graduation from Art school in Pavlovsk in 1926 he went to work at Lomonosov factory. He retired in 1992. Vorobievsky considered two men to be his main masters: art teacher in Pavlovsk school I.Mikhailov and Serghei Chekhonin, chief artist of the Factory - both were members of artistic guild “World of Art” the ideas of which influenced greatly creative style of a talented youth. Over his lustrous career Vorobyevsky came up with more than 1500 different patterns which captured magic of true art of hand-painting on white gold of porcelain.

He started participating in major international exhibitions in 1927. Since then his works were acclaimed with diplomas and gold medals at prestigious exhibitions and porcelain fairs in Milan, Paris, New York, Brussels, Ostende, Prague, Izmir, Montreal, Leipzig. Vorobyevsky’s masterpieces are displayed at State Hermitage and Russian Museum, at the best museums of Moscow, at the international ceramics center in Faenza (Italy) and collections of Russian decorative art around the globe. Vorobyevsky porcelain” is a wonderful gift for presidents, prominent state and public figures, genuine connoisseurs of art.

Art should convey beauty and positive feelings” – this was main creative philosophy of Vorobyevsky which he devotedly followed all his life. From the very beginning of his career Vorobyevsky was given a carte-blanche at the factory – so he chose to create hundreds of designs of spring and winter themes completely ignoring .summer and autumn. When he was young Vorobyevsky dreamed of becoming a theater art decorator and this dream of his permeates all his works. Vorobyevsky never used preliminary sketches – he just painted on “a clean slate” no matter how sophisticated was the picture on porcelain.

His delicate painting style would start with fine feather sharp pen lines of the general contour of the picture and then he would use a pen or the finest brush to fill up contours with multi-colored paints as if it were a mosaics panel. After the firing he would lay intricate agate patterns on to his favorite golden paint. It is a very sophisticated and meticulous work which requires not only a lot of talent but also extraordinary industriousness. Vorobievsky possessed both, that is why his heritage is so rich and versatile. His amazing heritage constitutes “Russian Style” collection of the Imperial Porcelain Manufactory.

Vorobyevsky loved spring-time so much that he made it his main theme in painting. He would capture images of spring on cups, saucers, dishes, sets, vases. Service “Spring scenes” represents one of many Vorobyevsky’s variations on the theme of spring, golden paints pervade the picture like sunshine, like effervescent spring sun-light. Painted with a great attention to detail golden wings, golden flowers, golden leaves – they all shine brightly on a set “Golden butterflies”. Expectation of spring is felt in this wonderfully delicate pattern.

Vorobyevsky liked to create reminiscences on Diagilev’s “Russian seasons” ballet shows thus realizing his youthful dream of becoming a theater art decorator. Refined aesthetics of “World of Art” art-group influenced style of painting of “Winter pastime”. Vorobyevsky depicted his imaginary theater there where he was a show-director, costume designer, scene decorator and director of the company. This is why all the actors are so beautifully cast there.

Vorobyevsky designed his painting style of “Russian fantasy” in the mold of a scene decoration in a theatre where layers of conventionalized old Russian structures with blue and golden cupolas overlap white porcelain creating a feeling of celebration and light.

Vorobyevsky liked to paint his world of fantasy which became a permanent motif in his works. “Landscape frieze” offers pictures of Eden gardens, castles in the air, blue lakes, fanciful flowers and trees. Decorative character of objects underscores intricate ornament of the painting which looks like a golden bracelet with gems. Vorobyevsky blends oriental motifs and traditional Russian form in a samovar set “Indian scenes”: opulent rosy and red Indian flowers, abundance of gold, blue floral ornaments create a very color-saturated pattern on a traditional Russian samovar form – Vorobyevsky’s idea of luxury of the East.

Winter tale” is another fairy-tale winter scene on white porcelain created by Vorobyevsky in the mold of a theater scene decoration. Bright red and blue conventionalized Russian towers covered with fluffy white porcelain snow spectacularly set against the backdrop of cobalt blue winter night sky. Just wonderful. Small wonder that “Winter tale” pattern was awarded gold medal at Leipzig international fair in 1984. Vorobyevsky’s “Porcelain lubok” is always a world of bright red and blue colors. Lubok aesthetics is predicated by Russian folk-lore: Russian fairs, towers, samovars, carousels, red-gold cockerels, fairy-tale flowers, Punch-and-Judy shows, golden horses, sarafan patterns – Vorobyevsky loved to bask in this kaleidoscope of folk Russian images.

Vorobyevsky won gold medals for “Porcelain Russian lubok”, “Russian folk patterns” at the World Exhibition Fair in Brussels in 1958. Delicate thin bone-china cups seem to be destined to fit for fine Vorobyevsky patterns. Miniature paintings reflect main Vorobyevsky themes: winter and spring fantasy scenes, intricate floral ornaments, Old Russian folk architecture, fantastic Oriental luxury. The artist had an immaculate feelong of balance and harmony between fine bone china and décor, his decorations invariably enhance and underscore almost airy, delicately thin fragility of porcelain surface. “Golden spring”, “May” shape.
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