How Are They Created?

Russian nesting dolls are typically made from wood, with each doll consisting of several sections that can be separated from one another. The wood is cut into sections and turned on a lathe to create the desired shape.

The dolls are then sanded and painted by hand, with intricate details and patterns added to the surface. The smallest doll is usually left unpainted and may have a flat bottom so that it can stand upright. The dolls are then assembled, with the smallest one fitting inside the next larger doll, and so on.

The result is a set of dolls that can be nested inside one another, with each one becoming progressively larger.

Captivating, enchanting works of art

Nesting dolls, also known as matryoshka dolls, have a rich history that dates back to the late 19th century in Russia. The first set of nesting dolls was created in 1890 by Vasily Zvyozdochkin and Sergey Malyutin, inspired by a Japanese nesting doll they saw in a shop window.

The original set consisted of eight dolls, with the largest doll representing a plump, rosy-cheeked peasant girl, and each subsequent doll fitting snugly inside the one before it. The dolls quickly gained popularity and became a symbol of Russian folk art, with artists and craftsmen all over Russia creating their own unique sets. Today, Russian nesting dolls are cherished worldwide for their intricate designs and cultural significance.

Matte vs. Polished

Matte and polished finishes on Russian nesting dolls are determined by the type of paint used. Matte finishes are created using a flat or non-glossy paint, which gives the dolls a more natural and rustic look. This finish is often used for dolls that depict traditional scenes or characters. Polished finishes, on the other hand, use glossy paint that gives the dolls a more shiny and reflective appearance. This finish is often used for dolls that depict modern or whimsical characters, as well as for dolls that are meant to be displayed as decorative pieces. Ultimately, the choice of finish depends on the artist’s vision for the doll and the character being depicted.