Anno Domini Gold Fountain Pen
The Krone Anno Domini MM displays the magnificent workmanship of the Russian miniature lacquer artist in its radiant iconographic origins. The best Palekh artisans formed “artels” (companies) which decorated the great churches of Russia. After the Russian Revolution, the iconographic workshops were closed immediately when the new Socialist dogma declared religion and it’s symbols “the opiate of the people.”
The necessity to earn a living and, at the same time to actualize their artistic potential, forced the artisans to seek other forms of expression. The great iconographer, Ivan I Golikov became the founder of the new art – the Palekh lacquer miniature. The discovery opened up great possibilities for the artists, because even the most mundane article could now be transformed into a treasure. The ancient traditions and techniques passed down through generations naturally attracted the new artists to themes of old songs or fairy tales. The artist was taught to work in the most delicate and detailed way to create exquisite scenes in miniature on pieces such as jewelry, brooches, and pendants. Each work was as individual as the artists themselves, but very much in keeping with the teachings of the masters before them. The artisan works alone and there is no duplication. Each piece is unique, belonging to a certain artisan. In this art of miniaturization, there is no mechanization possible. On the contrary, each piece is a product of individual creativity, which lends to its unique quality.
Extremely fine brushes must be used to gain the required detail. The artist makes the brush usually from squirrel tail or sable. The painting is often made with the aid of a high powered magnifying glass, which is the only way to work with such precise detail. The concentration required for such work is intense and the artist can only paint for short periods at a time.
In each of the four villages where miniature lacquer art flourishes – Fedoskino, Palekh, Kholui, and Mstera – there are only about 175 artists at work. Each of these villages has their own special school where under the guidance of experienced masters, artisans learn their techniques. Applicants from all over Russia apply, but few are chosen for entrance. The training regimen is strict and rigid, and superior talent must be proven to graduate into the community of miniature painters.The nature of the work is such that even a limited edition piece is uniquely individual. One can compare each piece in the edition and see that each one is quite different from another and expresses the mood and personality of the artist.
The Krone Anno Domini MM is borne of this exquisite art form. It returns to the origin of the iconographic fathers, who labored in the work of the Lord, and combines it with its modern surviving form – miniaturization and painstaking detail.