When dining at Riviera Grill, one of the best Russian restaurants in Brooklyn, you may feel transported to another place and time. Imagine that, all of the culture and tradition of Eastern Europe fit into a russian restaurant in Brooklyn. You’ll be reminded of everything that you’ve learned about the region: geography, historical figures, art, literature. And one of the most recognizable pieces of folk art is the matryoshka doll.
The matryoshka doll or more commonly known as the Russian nesting doll is a series of hollow wooden dolls, one a little smaller than the next. They are placed one inside the other. So what looks like one doll is actually seven or eight! Matryoshka means “little matron.”
The wooden figures are basically a cylinder with no protruding appendages that consist of two halves, a top and a bottom, which can easily be opened and then pieced back together, making it possible for the dolls to “nest.” The number of dolls ranges anywhere from five to a few dozen or more.
The real aesthetic value is in the painting of the dolls, which can be extremely detailed and elaborate. Although the modern matryoshkas are painted to represent pretty much any and everything, from presidents to celebrities, when looking traditional nesting dolls, the outermost layer is a woman wearing a sarafan, or a traditional Russian jumper. The smallest doll was made of a solid block of wood and painted like a baby.
The first matryoshka was a set of eight dolls carved by Vasily Zvyozdochkin in 1890. The design was based on the vision of an artist named Sergey Malyutin, who went on to paint the first set. In 1900 the dolls won a bronze at the Exposition Universelle in Paris and increased in global popularity.
Traditional and modern dolls are usually painted under a theme, although you can still easily find the traditional dress. They can be beautifully painted Christmas or Fairy Tales. Or they can be caricatured presidents or even animals! Whatever they look like, the form is easily recognizable and is perfect for displaying or for playing.
You may also hear the matryoshka be used as a metaphor. It is akin to the onion metaphor, consisting of layers and similar objects within. This can be used figuratively to talk about ideas and concepts or literally like creating tupperware containers that fit within the other for easy storage.
In Russian Restaurants, Brooklyn NY can be transformed into the motherland with the use of art, design, and culture. At Riviera Grill you will find bits of Russian tradition to go along with those delicious meals.