Alexander Mikhailovich Kurkin (Russian, B. 1916) "The Frog Princess -- The Brothers Shooting Arrows" Signed lower edge. Original Painted lacquered plate.
Provenance: Collection of James A. Helzer (1946-2008), Founder of Unicover Corporation.
This painting originally appeared on the MIPS Mint Stamp for the Marshall Islands "The Frog Princess" stamp issue of April 28, 2002.
One of the most popular fairy tales depicted in the Russian Palekh style of painting is The Frog Princess. The story begins when Prince Ivan and his two brothers must find a bride by shooting an arrow into the air. His brothers arrows are returned by love ladies, but Ivan's arrow is returned by an enchanted frog. The king orders each bride to sew him a shirt, bake him a loaf of bread, and dance for him. Ivan despairs because his "frog princess" cannot possibly accomplish these tasks. But each night the frog casts off its skin and turns into a beautiful maiden, winning the king's favor -- afterwards she turns back into a frog. One night, Ivan destroys the frog's skin, hoping that the princess; will never become a frog again. As a result, she is forced to leave Ivan forever. Years later he finds a hut in which an old woman lives who shows him how to get the princess back. Ivan and the princess are reunited and fly off together on a magic carpet.
Diameter: 9.5 in. (B06860)
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