Sergei Kvashnin’s sculpture Female Komsomol Member with Book. Lomonosov State Porcelain Factory. About 1930. 1928 model from 1929. Artist of the model: Sergei Kvashnin. Paintwork artist unknown. Mark: sickle, hammer, and part of a gear in the clay. Overglaze polychrome paintwork on porcelain. Height: 21 cm. There is no doubt as to the authenticity of the figurine and the fact that it comes from the State Porcelain Factory. A stylistic analysis, the quality of the porcelain clay, the characteristic technological features of the work, and the means of decoration are all indicators that align with the given time and production. The mark of the factory is on the back of the base in the clay, placing the sculpture in a specific time period. The artist is presumed to be Sergei Kvashnin, who was probably by that time a former graduate or student of one of the educational institutions. Acquiring sculptural models offered by students and trainees was a common way for the factory to expand its offerings. The works offered for reproduction were considered at artistic meetings at the factory, and they would accept them (in this case comments could be made or revisions could be proposed) or rejected. The quality of the artistic model was not the only thing; the specifics of the materials and production technology necessary were also taken into account. A prerequisite for new work was an artistic and ideological connection with contemporary life; the themes of everyday life, the city, the village, the Red Army, Pioneers, and national minorities were encouraged.
The examples of this sculpture known to us date from the late 1920s to the early 1930s; a mention of it can be found in “Bulletin of Plaster Models, 1 October 1928”; it is listed as “Female Komsomol Member with Book in Military Uniform.” The artist depicts a standing girl in a military blouse with a belt, skirt, and a boots; in her left hand she is holding the book ABC of Communism. It is likely that it was created at the same time as the figurine Worker with Hammer. These works are now seen as a set. The work in question, with its geometric forms, belongs to the segment of porcelain art that was influenced by cubism, a modernist trend that also influenced sculpture. The paintwork was done in accordance with the character and image of the sculpture. In the same manner, the sculpture Female Komsomol Member with Book (from the collection of the Museum of the Imperial Porcelain Factory, the State Hermitage) was painted by Mikhail Mokh. Female Komsomol member organically falls into the gallery of images rendered in the art of the porcelain of the late 1920s and early 1930s. New heroes arrived at this time to take over from the historical and revolutionary characters of the 1920s; these are the subjects of the following works: Merging of the City and the Village by Vasily Nikolaev, Chapel by Tigran Davtyan, Reaper by Olga Manuilova, and Afghani Woman Removing Her Veil by Elizaveta Tripolskaya, as well as Worker with Hammer and Female Komsomol Member with Book by Sergei Kvashnin, etc. The figurine in question, Female Komsomol Member with Book, characterizes the porcelain art of its time and is of significant interest to researchers, collectors, and porcelain aficionados.
T. V. Kumzerova, porcelain specialist