Vrubel jewels

My new favourite potter (majolica) is Mikhail Vrubel 1865-1910. The face above and the fireplace below are in the Tretyakov Museum. This is where my interest was piqued.

Vrubel was a frequent visitor to Abramtsevo and Savva Mamontov was a huge fan. Mamontov built a ceramics workshop for Vrubel in the grounds.

In the residence at Abramtsevo, Vrubel decorated many room stoves – where the fire is tendered from the hallway behind and the tiled wall heats up. Some have sleeping ledges on them (it would be bitterly cold in winter).

I didn’t really like the stoves, practical as they may have been, but I did like some of the tiles and other works on exhibition at Abramtsevo and bought the booklet.

In the Russian Museum in St Petersburg there were some fine examples. Below, ‘Sadko’ dish 1899-1900.

‘Sea Tsar’

‘Head of a Lioness’ 1891

Vrubel was also a painter. Below, ‘Six-winged Seraph’ 1904

Here is another rather spectacular majolica piece from The Hermitage, St Petersburg – ‘The Nativity’ by Giovanni della Robbia 1469-1529.


  1. Richard Hoy

    Hi Ian Most impressed by the ceramics. Loved the bird, the nativity scene and the fireplaces. It would be a bit hard to bring one of the latter back however. St Petersburg is on my list of places to visit but doubt that we will actually get there.
    Regards Richard and Deborah

  2. Elsbeth

    Amazing artwork and crafting. Loved the lions head and the Christ nativity scene in particular.

  3. Elsbeth

    Lioness’ head, I thought the Sea Tsar just looked grumpy.

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