Zhostovo is a world-famous Russian folk art center popular for its painted trays decorated with bright bunches of flowers on the black background. The skillful and talented masters of Zhostovo have turned these domestic utensils into real masterpieces of art. The best traditions of this popular folk art are preserved by modern artists of Zhostovo, who manage to unite the traditional methods with improvisation and individual talent of each master. You'll always can recognize Zhostovo style painting by bright flower compositions on lacquered metal trays.
Production of metal trays in Russia began in 18-th century. It started in Ural Mountains at metal factories of Neviansk and Nizhniy Tagil. The first well known crafter was A. Khudiakov, a peasant from Nizhniy Tagil.
In accordance with legend he investigated oil lacquer that did not crack at iron, copper and wooden surfaces, it was better than famous English lacquers and was equal to the best Chinese lacquers.
Lacquer film protect things and especially oil painting. He to handed down the secrete of of that lacquer to his sons that painted bright flowers and butterflies. Later artists began to paint other subjects and ornaments decoration. In the edge of 18-19-th century trays from Ural factories were sold over Russia.
Later The trade in Zhostovo started in 1825 from the first private works of Osip Vishnyakov in the village of Zhostovo. First trays were made from papier-mache. Starting from 1830 they started hand-forging the tray bases from metal. Decorative trays weren't novelty to Russians of 19th century. Such trays were in use from 18th century. The earliest trays that survived the hardships of life are dated 1870. The exact dates of manufacture were stamped on the backs of trays. Most of these trays were made by Vishnyakov dynasty.The trays were popular in Moscow, St. Petersburg, Nizhny Novgorod. Not only flowers were depicted by artists of Zhostovo but fruit, landscapes and folk scenes. Up to these days our art stays purely decorative.