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Palekh is an urban locality (an urban-type settlement
Urban-type settlement
Urban-type settlement ; , selyshche mis'koho typu ) is an official designation for a type of locality used in some of the countries of the former Soviet Union...

) and the administrative center of Palekhsky District
Palekhsky District
Palekhsky District is an administrative district , one of the 21 in Ivanovo Oblast, Russia....

 of Ivanovo Oblast
Ivanovo Oblast
Ivanovo Oblast is a federal subject of Russia .Its three largest cities are Ivanovo , Kineshma, and Shuya.The principal center of tourism is Plyos. The Volga River flows through the northern part of the oblast....

, Russia
Russia or , officially known as both Russia and the Russian Federation , is a country in northern Eurasia. It is a federal semi-presidential republic, comprising 83 federal subjects...

. Its urban status is due to its economy not depending upon agriculture. Population:

Palekh has a very long history in Russian iconography
Iconography is the branch of art history which studies the identification, description, and the interpretation of the content of images. The word iconography literally means "image writing", and comes from the Greek "image" and "to write". A secondary meaning is the painting of icons in the...

, the art of painting Russian Orthodox icon
An icon is a religious work of art, most commonly a painting, from Eastern Christianity and in certain Eastern Catholic churches...

s for homes and churches. The village emerged as a leading center of Russian icon- and mural-painting in the 19th century.

A good example of the Palekh school are the murals and icons from the Church of the Exaltation of the Cross (built in 1762–1774).

Today, Palekh is known primarily for its miniatures
Palekh miniature
Palekh miniature is a Russian folk handicraft of miniature painting, which is done with tempera paints on varnished articles made of papier-mâché ....

. Following the October Revolution
October Revolution
The October Revolution , also known as the Great October Socialist Revolution , Red October, the October Uprising or the Bolshevik Revolution, was a political revolution and a part of the Russian Revolution of 1917...

 with its outspoken atheist
Atheism is, in a broad sense, the rejection of belief in the existence of deities. In a narrower sense, atheism is specifically the position that there are no deities...

ideology, around 1923, the Palekh masters of iconography began to paint papier-mâché boxes applying the same principles they had learned from painting icons.

They used mainly tempera paints of bright colors and painted over a black background. The work usually represents themes from real life, fairy tales, literary works, and folk songs.

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