Famous Matryoshka doll artist visits Edinburgh

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Tanya Andreeva
Tanya Andreeva

By Cara Sulieman

A SOUGHT after Russian artist who has even sold her artwork to the Royal family is on a flying visit to Scotland to show off her skills.

Tanya Andreeva has been painting Matryoshka dolls for 19 years and is the most collected artist for them in the UK.

Visiting her friend Zoya Beaton, Tanya will be demonstrating her skills in The Russian Shop in Edinburgh until Thursday.

With people queuing up to buy her intricate designs, the 49-year-old has even sold a small five doll set to Buckingham Palace.

Moscow University

She said: “I sell my dolls mainly through Zoya in the UK, but a few internet companies also stock them.

“A couple of years ago a member of the Royal family at Buckingham Palace ordered one of the small sets, but they wouldn’t let us know who it was.”

Living in the town of Sergiev-Posad, just outside Moscow, Tanya came to Matryoshka painting later on in her career.

She studied chemistry at Moscow University before taking up a job at a paint and lacquer factory in Sergiev-Posad.

Matryoshka
Matryoshka

But in 1990 the family were struggling to pay the bills and Tanya’s husband suggested that she tried her hand at painting the dolls.

Zoya said: “In the first week Tanya painted one set and took it to the special craft market where she sold it for a month’s wages.

“She kept painting from there and has now become one of the most collected Russian doll artists in the world.”

The painting on her dolls is so intricate that they can sell for up to £300 for a large set.

But Zoya said it is this attention to detail that makes the artist so popular.

She said: “Her work instantly recognisable for its beauty, quality and attention to detail – such as the lace on a bridal doll which was painted with a single-hair sable brush.”

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