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Martin Mešša: Jewel of folk art from Richvald

Soldier from the decoration of the staffAmong the interesting and unique shepherds’ staffs in Slovakia we can regard the staff that was according to the signature made by Andrej Doruščak in 1865 and was purchased for the collections at the Šariš Museum from the town of Richvald close to Bardejov where a family of this last name still lives. It is unique not only in the technology of its decoration but also by the depicted topic.

Andrej Doruščak placed soldiers and high ranking officers in three rows wearing the uniforms of that time, and all in a considerably small space. Apart from soldiers, we can see a drummer, trumpeter, violin players and bass player. Very interesting and unique is the depiction of a a church and bell with crosses on their towers. The symmetry and composition balance is confirmed by the author decorating the staff with fields of geometric ornaments. The décor resembles the geometric painting of wood flat walls and ceilings in the naves and sanctuaries of gothic churches.

The topic of the figural depiction on the staff could be military recruitment, a fact which is confirmed by the folk music and dancers with bottles. This staff by Andrej Doruščak is a jewel of folk art creation and a rare exhibit. It is unique through the use of significant author stylization of the people and their parts. Over a considerably small space and in a form of simple surface depiction, the author adds topics using several lines telling us a story or several stories of which he may have indeed been a part.




Further articles in the magazine Craft, Art, Design 04/2005:


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