A FRAGMENT OF A FIRE PLACE WITH A SCULPTURE OF A PEACOCK FROM THE CERAMIC DECORATION OF THE DINING ROOM IN THE “RUSSIAN STYLE”
Matvey Sidorovich Kuznetsov (1846–1911) was one of the largest Industrialists of Russia, the head of the famous “Partnership for production of porcelain and faience products of M.S.Kuznetsov” (established in 1887) became operational since 1889. Factories of the Partnership, located in many provinces of the European part of Russia, produced almost half of all whiteware products. Use of Western technical innovations, permanent improvement of production quality ensured constant growth of quality of products. Those were extremely diverse: various porcelain and faience table, tea and coffee sets; tile stoves and fireplaces for interiors; the iconostasis for churches; glazed tiles for facades of buildings. The Partnership maintained permanent trading houses in all major cities of Russia. Products of the Partnership were sold not only on the Russian market, but also were exported to other countries. The Partnership was a participant of many major domestic and foreign exhibitions, where it received a number of high awards.
All major trends of industrial art of this time were reflected in products of the Partnership. Special interest of the Partnership was development and production of products “in the Russian style”.
Dining room in “Russian style” became an extremely vivid example of the national trend in art. Making of this unique interior was related to a family event: in October of 1890 in Kuznetsov’s manor was celebrated a “silver wedding” of Matvey Sidorovich and his wife Nadezhda Vukolovna. For this occasion architect A.Kaminsky had rebuilt for Nadezhda Vukolovna one of the houses of a large city estate of Kuznetsovs’ in Meshchaskaya part (enclosed between 1st and 2nd Meshchanskaya Streets), on the first floor of it appeared this unusual room. Main decoration of it was colorful ceramic panels with complex stylish decor and fairytales images. The decor did not simply repeat the Old Russian architectural and stove tiles, but reflected their main peculiarity a decorative, colorful and cheerful character. This allowed considering M.S.Kuznetsov a preserver of Russian folk traditions.
Perfect quality of those sophisticated large voluminous panels became an evident manifestation of both high technical achievements and capabilities of Kuznetsov’s Partnership.