Russian Matryoshka Dolls


My husband arrived tonight from a Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk (Сахалин) and brought me home these lovely Matryoshka Dolls (матрёшка) aka Russian Nesting Dolls.

A Matryoshka Doll is a set of doll made of carved wood of decreasing size placed inside the other. The painting on the doll is very elaborate. The designs and themes vary -- from typical peasant girls to Soviet leaders.

Traditionally, the design painted on the doll is that of a woman dressed in sarafan (сарафа́н) a long, trapeze-shaped dress worn by peasant girls.

The church-themed Matryoshka Dolls

I love this set. 10 elaborately designed dolls.

The smallest is the size of a pea but the details of the design were not compromised.

Interesting fact from wikipedia:

Matryoshkas are also used metaphorically, as a design paradigm, known as the "matryoshka principle" or "nested doll principle". It denotes a recognizable relationship of "object-within-similar-object" that appears in the design of many other natural and man-made objects. Examples include the Matrioshka brain and the Matroska media-container format. The "matryoshka principle" is also an example of Mise-en-abyme. 

The onion metaphor is of similar character. If the outer layer is peeled off an onion, a similar onion exists within. This structure is employed by designers in applications such as the layering of clothes or the design of tables, where a smaller table sits within a larger table and a yet smaller one within that.