A black box, lacquered papier-mâché , with red interior and lid painted with a scene of four puppeteers manipulating two marionettes. From Uzbekistan. The lid is painted with a scene of four puppeteers manipulating two marionettes. One puppeteer, the master, a bearded man with moustache, guides the others who are clean-shaven with turbans. The master wears a hat with a brim in two points. They wear robes of dark-blue, red and light-blue against a background of flowers, perhaps roses, foliage and shooting stars. They are performing behind a cloth screen but are visible from their upper bodies and heads. They manipulate two marionettes with strings, which are dressed in similar turbans and robes, one in green, the other in red. The whole scene is bordered in a white arabesque with circular motifs. This lid represents a classic theme in Uzbek puppetry, ‘Who moves the puppeteers? ’. The implicit answer is Allah. J.S. Ashrapov who painted this box was trained at Tashkent Art School. He painted his first miniature in 1983 and has worked at the Abdul Khasim Medressa since 1988.
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