MESTO I ZNAĆAJ PAVELA OVČINJIKOVA U RUSKOM ZLATARSTVU
THE PLACE AND THE SIGNIFICANCE OF PAVEL OVČINJIKOV IN RUSSIAN GOLDSMITHING
Journal 1/2005 (Museum of Applied Art), pages 87-92
Pavel Akimov Ovčinjikov (1820/1830 – 1888) was a coryphaeus of the art of goldsmithing and silverwork that in his works marked the whole Russian, thus world applied arts. With Faberge, Ovčinjikov was the best known and the most important jeweler in Russia and his factory worked from the second half of the 19th century to 1917.
He owned factories in Moscow and Petersburg in which turnover rose with a dizzying success, and he was the founder of the first crafts school in Russia in which a large number of students was trained. One of the founders of Russian style in making of gold and silver objects in which the national and the centuries-old tradition of orthodox culture merged, and which was the leading art force in Russia from the end of the 19th and the beginning of the 20th centuries. That period is called „the golden age“ of Russian silver.
In the works of Pavel Ovčinjikov the national ideas were expressed in subject, that is, in form and ornament. The revival of the Old-Russian forms and ornament, as well as the revival of classical jewelry, namely, the Old-Russian techniques of production (enamel, glass enamel), and bringing it to the contemporary level, made the works of his factory to stand out with originality and extreme mastership.
Ovčinjikov has a great merit in creation of the arts and crafts school and the perfect system of education in production of silver and gold objects and the development of the jeweler’s craft. The best-known artists and painters of that time worked for him, designing and modeling the objects.
He presented his works in many exhibitions in Russia and other countries: The Moscow Manufacture Exhibition in 1865, The International Exhibition in Paris in 1867, The World Exhibition in Vienna in 1873, and Chicago in 1893, The World Exhibition in Paris in 1900.
Pavel Ovčinjikov was greatly respected and received the honourable citizenship of Moscow; he was city representative at The Moscow Duma, at The Trade of Commerce, and The Moscow Stock Exchange Committee. He also held an honourable title of the Supplier for the Court of the Heir to the Throne, Prince Aleksandar Aleksandrovič (Nicolaevič).
Many Russian and world museums, preserve the works made in the factory of Pavel Ovčinjikov and his heirs Michael, Alexander, Paul and Nicolas Pavlovič (The State-Historical Museum in Moscow, The Russian Museum of the Decorative and Applied Arts in Moscow, The Hillwood Museums and Gardens in Washington, D.C., and other museums).
The Ethnographic Museum in Belgrade possesses the richest collection of Russian gold and silver objects in the country. It features the objects produced in the shops of the best-known Russian jewelers and silversmiths of the 18th, 19th and 20th centuries. Those made in the shop of Pavel Akimov Ovčinjikov stand out with their significance, beauty and exeptionality of form and ornament, as well as the virtuosity of the production.
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