What are Russian Matrioskas: Russian dolls

What are the Russian Matrioskas, here you will know. We dedicate this little article, which to know about Russian dolls. You will also know where to buy the Russian Matrioskas in case you are visiting and want to keep a souvenir.

Que son las Matrioskas rusas

What are the Russian Matrioskas

The Russian Matriokas, better known in the Spanish-speaking world as Russian Dolls. They are traditional Russian dolls whose grace is that they are hollow inside; allowing to place increasingly smaller matrioskas inside a larger one.

Thus, the number of matrioskas one inside the other can range from 3 to 20, since they rarely spend that amount due to the volume that such a doll would have.

What to know about Russian dolls

The history of Russian matrioskas, it is said, goes back to the painter of a crafts workshop; Sergei Maliutin Which once saw a set of Japanese dolls representing the gods of fortune; being that the god Fukurokuju harbored the other gods represented by smaller and smaller dolls.

Thus, Sergei, who designed toys for children; he adapted it to the Russian way; in which there were 8 Russian dolls and the biggest doll was a girl, then a boy followed and then again a girl; alternating like this until you reach a baby.

After being presented at the Universal Exhibition in Paris in 1900; The matrioska gained worldwide fame and adapted to the most diverse characters. From presidents of nations to popular television series like The Simpsons.

It is also important to note that the “Matrioska Museum” opened in Moscow in 2001. Which contains the most diverse types of these dolls; In addition to a historical walk on their history.

Preparation of Russian dolls

As for its elaboration, normally they are the Russian Matrioskas, it is made of linden wood; Well, this is the lightest. It is also painted with oil paintings. Although there are also matrioskas painted with watercolors, which are more difficult to paint.

Where to buy Russian Matrioskas

If you are traveling through Russia, and visiting Moscow, the matrioskas can be bought at Izmaylovo market and on Arbat street. We have a two-day Moscow Tour that includes these two sites.

Brief history of Russian dolls

Matrioskas rusas

You may wonder what the Russian Matrioskas are and how they were made. The story of the appearance of Russian nesting dolls began in the capital, in the study “Infant Education”. Where dolls were made in order to show the clothes of the population of different parts of the country. The task of creating such toys was the promotion of domestic ethnography.

Working in the studio, Sergey Malyutin, based on the Japanese Daruma doll in the form of spherical and brightly colored figures of the mythical old man nested among himself, invented and made his own detachable doll. The teacher painted her like a peasant woman with a bright scarf.

Matryoshka Malyutina was holding a dark coquette in her hands, wearing an embroidered shirt, a summer dress and a white bib, and a scarf on her head. Another 8 figures were invested inside, in which the feminine images alternated with the masculine ones. The latter was made in the form of a wrapped baby. The teacher painted the first nesting doll with gouache paint. Now this product is in the Sergiev Posad Museum.

The name of Russian Matrioskas was given involuntarily. At the end of the 19th century, Matresha was the most common female name.

The evolution of nesting dolls to this day

At the beginning of its appearance, the traditional Russian matrioskas was painted as a woman in a header and a colored dress. In the last decade of the 19th century, the studio where Malyutin worked was closed, but dolls continued to be manufactured in Sergiev Posad.

The Russian toy received worldwide fame in 1900 at an exhibition in Paris. Every year, Russian nesting dolls were exhibited at fairs in Leipzig, Berlin and London. Russian matrioskas was fashionable in those days. Of great interest were the decorative painting and the original form, which at that time were a novelty

Types of Russian nesting dolls

Matrioskas rusas

Gradually, several centers for the production of Russian dolls were formed in Russia. In each company, the artisans tried to give the toy recognizable characteristics.


The history of its appearance is inextricably linked to the ancient styles of artistic murals of the land of Nizhny Novgorod. The appearance of the Russian matrioskas Semenov took place in 1929. When an artel for the production of wooden dolls was opened in the city of Semenov, Nizhny Novgorod region. It included several dozen home-based workers. On the basis of the cooperative in 1932, the Semenov paint factory was established, which still works.

Zagorsk (Sergiev Posad)

The Zagorsk nesting doll is a popular craft that emerged in the territory of Sergiev Posad. In the middle of the last century, many workshops worked in the city. Now, the traditional Russian nesting doll is made by the joint-stock company Artistic Products and Toys.


When they make Tver dolls, they use paint under Khokhloma with golden paints. The old Russian girls are represented in festive robes with jewels and golden headdresses. The scarf is red, the apron is black with large pink flowers surrounded by green leaves.

The red-black combination is a recognizable feature of Tver’s nesting dolls. Many consider them the most beautiful.


The neighboring village items, known as Krutitsk nesting dolls, are similar to the Polkhov-Maidan nesting doll. When finished, together with aniline paints, oil paints are used, under which a special technique is created. Krutitsky dolls are tall, thin and beautiful. Their clothes are richly painted with large bright flowers. What are the Russian Matrioskas are the best Polkhov-Maidan.

muñecas rusas


In Vyatka they make nesting dolls farther north. They, like the northern girls, have blond hair and blue eyes. The expression of Russian matrioskas is soft, smiling, sweet and cozy.

Matryoshka dolls today

Now in stores you can find Russian dolls painted as characters from fairy tales, families. Modern Russian nesting matrioskas are mostly copyrighted. Teachers often turn to fabulous, literary and historical themes. The recent invention is portrait dolls painted by famous people.

The minimum number of dolls is 3. Exclusive nesting dolls can accommodate up to 50 inserts. The most popular are articles with 5 and 7 themes.

The story of nesting dolls for children began just over 100 years ago, but during this short period the toy practically did not change. Bright, festive, it became one of the symbols of Russia.

The matrioska is a very traditional toy of the Russian lands and definitely a very popular icon worldwide. One more reason to say that Russian culture is amazing, don’t you think so? What are the Russian Matrioskas you can only know this in GuiaRus.

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