SCULPTURE “TSAR BERENDEY”
This sculpture was a part of the famous ceramic Suite made by M.A.Vrubel in the end 1890s on the subject of the Opera N.A.Rimsky-Korsakov “The Snow Maiden”.
From 1896 to 1902 M.A.Vrubel actively cooperated with the Russian private Opera. Since the end of 1890s, after K.A.Korovin left to work at the Imperial stage, he actually became the Chief Artist of the Theater. Within this period, the artist and his wife an opera singer N.I.Zabela became very close with N.A.Rimsky-Korsakov. The composer admired the talent of Nadezhda Ivanovna; many of His works, in particular the part of Marfa in the Opera “The Tsar's bride”, were composed especially for her voice. In his turn M.A.Vrubel in a letter addressed to N.A.Rimsky-Korsakov wrote that he decided to devote himself “exclusively to Russian fairy-tales” thanks to his influence.
The sculptures, created in 1899–1900, were a result of this passionate cooperation, which undoubtedly made them so impressive even to the present day.
After pottery “Abramtsevo” was closed in 1926 the molds and equipment were destroyed A.B.Saltykov, head of the Department of silicates (the future Department of ceramics and glass), managed to save a small part of the plaster molds, among which was “the Head of a lioness”, “Egyptian woman”, “Spring”, “Kupava” and “Tsar Berendey”. In 1935–1936 they were transferred to Gzhel ceramic factory “Vsekohudozhnik” (MTH “Gzhel”), where Saltykov acted as an inspirer and an artistic consultant. In 1945 after the old Abramtsevo mold sculptor Vera Sergeevna Zeniakina created this sculpture “Tsar Berendey”.