The "Porcelain Empire" of Asta Brzhezitskaya

Asta Brzhezitskaya was a bright representative of the so-called ‘Kuznetsov porcelain’. The porcelain making factory in Dulevo outside Moscow, which was founded by industrialist Terentiy Kuznetsov in 1832, was known all over Russia and abroad. Fitted out with advanced technology, the Dulevo porcelain factory produced exquisite porcelain for the Imperial Court and for aristocratic circles and less sophisticated porcelain for the general public. Asta Brzhezitskaya came to do a training course at the Dulevo factory while she was a student of the Moscow Institute of Arts. By the time she joined Dulevo staff in the 1930s, the factory was full of a new generation of artists and the old porcelain making techniques and designs had changed to meet the requirements of the day. The exhibition’s curator Olga Loginova comments on one of Brzhezitskaya’s first works which was titled ‘The Republics of the USSR”.

"The detailed sculptures of women clad in national attire with attributes characteristic of the economy of each republic were typical of those days. Like all arts in those days, porcelain was designed to reflect the prosperous wellbeing of all nationalities in the Soviet Union. While keeping in line with the required style, Asta Brzhezitskaya succeeded in adding an individual touch to her works which materialized in the plasticity of forms, naturalness of gestures, and attention to details. The figure of a Kazakh woman was captured in the middle of a typical dance movement and was painted in an unobtrusive manner, without excessive brightness."
The porcelain statuette of Prince Yuri Dolgorukiy, the founder of Moscow, was commissioned for Moscow’s 800th anniversary which was celebrated with pomp in 1947. Asta Brzhezitskaya did a lot of historical research while working on the statuette. She wanted to portray the prince on the basis of chronicles which described him as “a short, skinny man, with small, close-set eyes, a curved nose, and a sparse beard”. However, the supervising board advised her against it. As a result, Asta created a generalized figure of a mighty Old Russian warrior and her work was accepted for the jubilee exhibition. Olga Loginova comments.
"Asta Brzhezitskaya exhibited her works at more than one hundred exhibitions in Russia and abroad."
In 1992, Brzhezitskaya’s works were displayed at the National Design Museum in New York. At present, they are part of the collection of the Hermitage Museum in St.Petersburg. ...


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