Matryoshkas date from 1890. The story
goes that Sergei Maliutin, a painter
from a folk crafts workshop in the
Abramtsevo estate of a famous
industrialist and patron of arts Savva
Mamontov, saw a set of
Japanese wooden dolls representing
Shichi-fuku-jin, the Seven Gods of
Fortune. Inspired, Maliutin drew
sketch of a Russian version of the toy.
It was carved by Vasiliy Zvezdochkin in
a toy workshop in
- Sergiyev Posad and
painted by Sergei Maliutin.
of eight dolls; the outermost was a girl
in an apron, then the dolls alternated
between boy and girl,
with the innermost
– a baby.
1900, M.A. Mamontova, the wife of Savva
Mamontov, presented the dolls at the
World Exhibition in Paris
- and the toy
earned a bronze medal.
Soon, many other
places in Russia started making matryoshki of various styles.
Modern artists create many new styles of
nesting dolls. Today, many talented
artists specialize in painting
matryoshka dolls that feature
specific categories of subjects, people