Humble Motifs on Luxury Objects: Fedor Rückert’s Enamelware in the Russian Silver Age, 1880-1917




Myaskovskaya, Yana

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The last quarter of the nineteenth century in Imperial Russia saw a flowering of artistry and culture that historians often regard as one of the most significant in the nation’s history. Scholars refer to this period as the Silver Age, and this pinnacle of artistic and literary innovation lasted until the Russian Revolution in 1917. It was among this milieu that Fedor Rückert (1840-1917), a German artisan who owned an enamelware workshop in Moscow, began producing his historically significant objets d’art. I argue that by combining European-style enamel motifs with Russian Folklore Revival painted miniatures, Fedor Rückert bridged the ideological and economic gap between the Westernized aristocracy and the traditional peasant class in turn-of-the-century Russia. This essay will examine three enamel objects by Fedor Rückert as a means by which to study his significant contributions to the industry. His enamelware tells the story of x Rückert’s success as a luxury artisan within the context of Russia’s industrialization, and anticipates his equally drastic decline in the final years under Imperial rule.



Fedor Rückert, Arts & Crafts Movement, Russian, Russian Folklore Revival, Enamelware, Faberge