The fanciful motifs on this drawnwork valance reflect the blending of imagery from print sources, folk tales, and everyday life that appears in the Russian domestic arts that flourished in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. The composition flows from a central axis, creating a symmetrical frieze of figures, animals, trees, and architectural elements. Tall trees, expanding the full height of the linen, delineate sections that enclose smaller trees, flowers, castles, hunters, birds, dogs, and stags, all densely cohabiting within the space. At each end stands a male figure in courtly dress. The decoration is achieved by beginning with a gridded ground of linen threads, building patterns onto them with outlines, and then completing the designs with a variety of filling stitches. Delicate bobbin lace in an abstracted though also symmetrical designs provides the lower border.
For more information, see the Cora Ginsburg 2018 catalogue.