Tag Archives: Abramtsevo art

Inverloch mermaid


Winged mermaid at the stern of the stone barge at Vizcaya Mansion. Photo by seekingmuse

Winged mermaid at the stern of the stone barge at Vizcaya Mansion.

Photo by seekingmuseI



Nouveau siren of Inverloch


I was randomly exploring the southern Victorian coastline with Google Earth and admiring the ariel sculptural patterns, which were displaying a tremendous array of textures and colours. Near Inverloch, which is a coastal town on the edge of Bass Strait facing Tasmania, I noticed what alluded to be a large figurative form of a mermaid near the shoreline, albeit with a Brancusi like reductionist form and cubist face, gracefully swimming out to sea from the channel of an inlet. It didn’t require much of a stretch of the imagination to see the impressionistic feminine siren and with some light and contrast enhancement and further editing she looked alive (see below).
Around fourteen months later, I was intrigued to see that a cruise liner called ‘Norwegian Star’ had mysteriously became stranded at Inverloch while on a cruise to New Zealand. After a few days trying to get cruising again, and to the distress of its 7000 passengers, it had to be towed over 150 kms back to Melbourne for maintenance, before resuming its trip.
At least the Norwegian Star fared better than the fate of the Amazon, which in 1863, on its way to Mauritius, lost its sails in a wild gale and ended up shipwrecked on the beach at Inverloch near the now aptly named Wreck Creek. At low tides it can still be seen, embedded about 3 meters in the sand. Maybe that’s why the Inverloch siren has an Art Nouveau era coiffure, as that style was emerging around the latter half of the 19th century. Som local sailors avoid navigating this inlet as quite a few smaller boats have sunk there.


Inverloch-mermaid-capture from Google Earth @Veniceclayartists

Inverloch Mermaid (bottom right) from Google Earth

Bass Strait, Inverloch, Victoria

The white specks on the left are dwellings on the coastal fringe.



Inverloch-Mermaid-swimming in jade waters

Inverloch Sirene – see original at end of post



Norwegian Star cruise ship stranded in Inverloch

Norwegian Star cruise ship stranded at Inverloch in Feburary, 2017, currently sailing around the Mediterranean from Venice.




Mermaid sculpture on pier --Mermaid Harbor Norfolk VA

Mermaid sculpture — Mermaid Harbor. Norfolk VA




Mermaids and tales from the ages


Seafarers of old feared mermaids because of their reputation for being able to enchant sailors and lure them into the water. The allure of a sirens voice made sailors steer off course.

In the book Physiologus, written in the Fifth Century AD in Greek by an unknown author, there is a portion dedicated to “The Nature of the Mermaid” which states:

This marvel dwells in an unstable place where the water subsides.
She sinks ships and causes suffering,
She sings sweetly —this siren—and has many voices,
Many and resonant, but they are very dangerous.
Sailors forget their steering because of her singing;
They slumber and sleep and wake too late,
And the ships sink in a whirlpool and cannot surface anymore.


Midsummer Night’s Mermaid Dream

William Shakespeare wrote Midsummer Night’s Dream between 1590 and 1594. In it, he writes:

“I sat upon a promontory,
And heard a mermaid on a dolphin’s back,
Uttering such dulcet and harmonious breath,
That the rude sea grew civil at her song;
And certain stars shot madly from their spheres
To hear the sea-maid’s music.”



Mermaid sculpture with mosaic background at bar at Caesar’s Palace Hotel

White mermaid sculpture with mosaic background adorning the bar at Caesar’s Palace Hotel

Las Vegas


Coastal Mermaid sculpture near the promenade of the town of La Coruña in Spain's Galicia region

Mermaid sculpture near the promenade of the town of La Coruña in Spain’s Galicia region

Photo – Eric Nathan –  Alamy

In 1493, Christopher Columbus wrote in the ships journal that he spotted three mermaids rising high from the sea. The infamous English pirate Blackbeard (Edward Teach) reported seeing mermaids while sailing. Bartholomew Angelicus, in De Propietatibus Rerum, written in the 13th Century described a mermaid, and told of her stealing sailors from their ships.



Waylande Gregory Large Art Deco-Phoenician Style Melusine Ceramic Vase

Waylande Gregory Large Art Deco-Phoenician Style Melusine Vase




'Atargatis'-by-Virginia-Lee mermaid blue aura

‘Atargatis’ by Virginia Lee.


Atargatis was a Syrian Goddess of fertility, love, motherhood, and the sea and sky. She was sometimes depicted as a mermaid. The first appearance of mermaids in human culture seems to have occurred about 1000 BC in Assyria (roughly equivalent to present-day Syria plus the northern area of Iraq). In the mythology of Assyria, the beautiful fertility goddess Atargatis, became a mermaid after casting herself into a lake.

Atargatis eventually became known to the Greeks as Aphrodite Derceto and incorporated into Greek mythology. Greek mythology then expanded on the concept of mermaids, including in part the Nereids, the Tritons, the Sirens and Thessalonike (sister of Alexander the Great)




Mermaid-Sculpture-Klaipeda, Lithuania on Baltic Sea

Baltic Sea mermaid sculpture – Klaipeda, Lithuania



Ian Thomas antique mermaid statue on Lord Street in Southport England

Ian Thomas antique mermaid statue on Lord Street in Southport, England



Lusignan_Relief of The Château de Lusignan

Melusine relief – The Château de Lusignan



Figural Zinc mermaid holding child Fountain

Figural Zinc mermaid fountain – the water spouts from the merboy holding a conch shell




Art Nouveau Porcelain and bronze mermaid pitcher with floral decoration

Art Nouveau Porcelain and bronze mermaid pitcher



Maui-Mermaid wood carved sculpture with baby turtles

Maui Mermaid wood carved sculpture




Jean Mayodon ceramic mermaid and merman sculpture

Jean Mayodon ceramic mermaid and merman sculpture

Lebreton Gallery San Francisco



Mermaid sculpture at the Blue Mermaid

Forlorn looking mermaid sculpture at the Blue Mermaid

San Francisco


Tri footed mermaid cup_---Irina Zaytceva

Mermaid cup — Irina Zaytceva



Rene Lalique statuette in 1920 Naïade (Large-Mermaid)

Rene Lalique frosted glass Naïade (Large-Mermaid) statuette, 1920

This was used for a car mascot in 1925



Jean-Pierre-Augier mermaid sculpture

Jean Pierre Augier



Leopold Park bathing Mermaid Statue.Photo © by Jan Poppe

Leopold Park Mermaid Statue.

Photo © by Jan Poppe



Seated mermaid-statue next to a lake - sculpture Madrid, Spain

Seated mermaid statue next to a lake

Madrid, Spain


'Guanabara Mitológica'-sculpture by Remo Bernucci with elevated ocean views

Mermaid ‘Guanabara Mitológica’  – sculpted by Remo Bernucci



The Littlest Mermaid Nina Winters-Sculptures

‘The Littlest Mermaid’  –  Nina Winters




Trafalgar Square mermaid statue

Created by William McMillan and Sir Charles Wheeler for the fountains designed by Sir Edwin Lutyens



Annabelle---Nathalie-Seguin-ceramic sculpture bronze colour naked female figure

‘Annabelle’ by Nathalie Seguin



High-Tide---John-Morris-Sculptures - chic mermaid

‘High Tide’ – John Morris Sculptures




Decorative Mermaid Sculpture Figurine by HS white with flesh tone and gold highlights

 Decorative Mermaid Sculpture  Figurine by HS



Art Nouveau Porcelain Mermaid and Dolphin Vase




Lifesize Blue Mermaid Figurehead sculpture on bow of ship

Lifesize Mermaid Figurehead sculpture on bow of ship



lasirene_Marie Madeleine Gautier sculpture

‘La sirene’ – Marie Madeleine Gautier



French Mid-Century Modern black Ceramic 'Sirene' Lampbase Black Glaze, Blin Style

French Mid-Century Modern black Ceramic ‘Sirene’ Lampbase Black Glaze, Blin Style



Erte-twin-mermaids-sculpture with gold fins

Erte twin mermaids sculpture


Driftwood-female river Sculpture by Debra Bernier

Driftwood Sirene Sculpture by Debra Bernier



Water Woman-2017-Wangechi Mutu

‘Water Woman ‘ —  Wangechi Mutu

Gladstone Gallery NY -2017

Photo David Regen



Delphin-Massier-successfully-united-Art Nouveau forms-with-an-Islamic-influenced-glaze,

Delphin Massier Art Nouveau female figure vase with Islamic lustre glaze



Three Daydream-Island-mermaid-sculptures on the waters edge by David Joffe

Daydream Island mermaid sculptures by David Joffe



Art Nouveau figural table lamp with two mermaids and green glass lamp shade, c1900

Art Nouveau figural table lamp with two mermaids,




Belle Epoque Carved Agate Pearl Gold 'Naiad and Sturgeons' Jewelled brooch

Belle Epoque brooch – Carved Agate, Pearl, Gold ‘Naiad and Sturgeons’




Light green coloured Bronze mermaid fountain, University of Birmingham, England

 Bronze mermaid fountain, University of Birmingham, England




Bronze seated mermaid-fountain in a garden pond

Bronze seated mermaid fountain in garden pool




Cast-Bronze-Mermaid-Door-Pull by Vadim Androusov

Cast Bronze Mermaid Door Pull by Vadim Androusov 40’s




Arnold Bocklin.-1879 woman at an ocean cliff face

Ocean Breakers (The Sound) – Swiss symbolist painter Arnold-Bocklin.




Mermaid Riding Seahorse Sculpture by Sergio Bustamante

Mermaid Riding Seahorse Sculpture by Sergio Bustamante



Mermaid sculptural Shaped Solid Patinated Bronze Sconce, France, 1950s

Mermaid Shaped Solid Patinated Bronze Sconce, France, 1950’s

Ist dibs



Jean-Mayodon-jade green ceramic Mermaid sculpture

Jean Mayodon



Mermaid with Trident Dish Nyland Gunnar 1944

Mermaid with Trident Dish Nyland Gunnar



Terracotta Mexican Mermaid Sirena by Teyacapan,-via Flickr

Terracotta Mexican Mermaid Sirena

photo by Teyacapan, via Flickr




Mid-Century Modern Rene Buthaud French Ceramic Glazed Vase - BERTIL BERNHARDT-Miami

Mid-Century Modern Rene Buthaud French Ceramic Glazed Vase




Minton-Majolica-putti-&-mermaid-merman-figural pitcher

Minton Majolica putti & mermaid-merman pitcher



Porcelain Mermaid Vase

White porcelain Mermaid Vase




Oblong dish made of earthenware, decorated with a siren in gray-turquoise  – Edouard Cazaux

Circa 1950-1955





Alkisti Nicolaou Hadjiyianni — Mermaid of Porto Bello, Limassol



Thailand outdoor-mermaid-sculpture, Chang-Mai

Thailand outdoor mermaid sculpture with creepers, Chang Mai




Turquoise Royal-Dalton-Hand-Painted-Mermaid-Vase with gold twin handles

Royal Dalton Hand painted mermaid vase



white mermaid on rock sculpture

Large white mermaid statue

Philosophy Antiques and Design, Laguna Beach




Christian Schloe mermaid oil painting



Sergio Bustamante mermaid sculpture

Sergio Bustamante siren sculpture





Mermaid Vase Modern Pottery — Jonathan Adler




Vintage Royal Haeger Mermaid Planter

14 inches tall



Warszawska-Syrenka-sculpture - siren with a shield and sword

Warszawska Syrenka sculpture, Poland




Bronze mermaid statue sculpture at seaside

Hebei, China D&Z Sculpture



medieval,-Mermaid,ceramic plate -1475-1500,-The-Victoria-and-Albert-Museum

Medieval Mermaid plate,  1475 –  1500,

The Victoria and Albert Museum


Inverloch swimming mermaid - Veniceclayartists

Original Google Earth image – click to expand






Clay figurine artists from Abramtsevo

Moscow arts centre  – Abramtsevo

Situated 30 miles from Moscow, in a forest in close proximity to the Trinity Monastery at Sergiev Posad, lies the Abramtsevo museum and artists colony, an intellectual and artistic center that played a significant role in the development of Russian culture in the 19th Century.

Abramtsevo first came to prominence in 1843, when the estate was bought by Sergei Aksakov, a writer famous for his semi-autobiographical tales of aristocratic Russian life and treatises on country pursuits. In 1870, the estate was bought by Savva Mamontov, heir to a railroad fortune and one of the most significant figures in the development of Russian national art. He established an artists’ colony at Abramtsevo, and urged his artistic friends to return to Moscow and pursue there interests at his expense. The group that gathered around him included Art Nouveau painter Mikhail Vrubel, Realist Ilya Repin, Impressionist Valentin Serov, landscape painter Vasili Polenov, and the Vasnetsov brothers, Viktor and Apollinarius.

Abramtsevo art college Russia

Abramtsevo Bath House

The original intention of the art centre was to  increase attention on the national arts, and the preservation and development of traditional folk art. The creativity of the Abramtsevo community reflects a broader cultural tendency that emphasizes both the aesthetic and spiritual realms. Abramtsevo continues to be used as an artists retreat and there is still a School of Applied Arts operating on the estate. Many of Abramtsevo’s activities centre not just on the crafts, visual arts, and architecture but also on drama, music, and set design. Below are a collection of young ceramic artists who have graduated from Abramtsevo and have a flair for creating wonderful figurines.



 Eli Kaluga Innocent :  Eli worked for many years in a porcelain factory, and has since branched out to producing miniture figurines, usually of a lively and expressive nature.

El Innocent ceramic figurines - balerina and a man with a briefcase

El Innocent

El Innocent pottery figurines Kneeling man with miniature lady

El Innocent

El Innocent - pottery figurine of seated lady talking on the phone

El Innocent ceramic figurine

Four ballerinas - El Innocent

Four Dancing Ballerinas – El Innocent

El Innocent ceramic art figurine

El Innocent

El Innocent man reclining on floor.

Preferring floor to bed – El Innocent

El Innocent Woman dragging her cart

El Innocent

El Innocent - Tea gossip

Tea Gossip – El Innocent

Dancing Couple - El Innocent Figurine of male and female couple dancing

Dancing Couple – El Innocent

The main house at Abramtsevo has been well preserved and has distinct French Empire style, designed during the Aksakov era, and a Neo-Russian interior from Mamontov’s time at the complex. It is believed that the main house at Abramtsevo was the basis of Chekhov’s The Cherry Orchard.

Alexey Illarionov :

Alexey Illarionov ceramic sculpture of a lizzard

Lizard  sitting on a rock – Alexey Illarionov


Alexey Illarionov ceramic sculpture

 Alexey Illarionov

Galina Bulganin :

Galina-Bulganin figurine of girl holding her cat

‘Girl and cat’ – Galina Bulganin



'The  Creative Process' - Galina Bulganin lady reclining on a turtle

‘The  Creative Process’ – Galina Bulganin



Girl sleeping on a bull Bulganin-Galina.

‘Abduction of Europe’ – Galina Bulganin


Elya Yalonetskaya ;

 Elya Yalonetskaya figurine of a lady with a fan

‘Lady with fan’ – Elya Yalonetskaya



'Nezhnost' - Elya Yalonetskaya - sculpture of a couple embracing in a yatch

‘Nezhnost’ – Elya Yalonetskaya



'Isadora' - Elya Yalonetskaya - figurine of lady riding a bycicle

‘Isadora’ – Elya Yalonetskaya



Clay-figurine of lovers together -  Elya Yalonetskaya

‘Love’ – Elya Yalonetskaya


'Malishka' - Elya Yalonetskaya- mother with child

‘Malishka’ – Elya Yalonetskaya



'Dreamer' - Elya Yalonetskaya - couple seated on crescent moon on top of female head

‘Dreamer’ – Elya Yalonetskaya



'For a walk' - Elya Yalonetskaya - three children with  fish seated on the back of a horse

‘For a walk’ – Elya Yalonetskaya



'Curious Eyes' - Elya Yalonetskaya - figurine of a child holding onto his mothers apron

‘Curious Eyes’ – Elya Yalonetskaya



'Girl with flowers' - Elya Yalonetskaya

‘Girl with flowers’ – Elya Yalonetskaya



'One that brings children' - Elya Yalonetskaya

‘One that brings children’ – Elya Yalonetskaya



'Ptica' - Elya Yalonetskaya ceramic sculpture of a girl with the body of a bird

‘Ptica’ – Elya Yalonetskaya



'Spring' - Elya Yalonetskaya - Girl seated on an abstract horse

‘Spring’ – Elya Yalonetskaya

Elya Yalonetskaya Figurine of a magician performing tricks

‘Best Number’ – Elya Yalonetskaya

Elya Yalonetskaya - figurine of a red headed woman playing a guitar

‘Ms.A’ – Elya Yalonetskaya



Elya Yalonetskaya - clay sculpture of a zany man riding a horse

‘magi4eskaya mnogostupen4atost’ – Elya Yalonetskaya



Elya Yalonetskaya portrait

Elya Yalonetskaya

Elya Yalonetskaya white ceramic sculpture of a woman

‘Teatralka’ – Elya Yalonetskaya

'Tam visoko' - Elya Yalonetskaya - figurine of young couple riding a white horse

‘Tam visoko’ – Elya Yalonetskaya



'The release of the unconscious' - Elya Yalonetskaya

‘The release of the unconscious’ – Elya Yalonetskaya


Marina Nelyubina :

Ceramic sculpture of a girl riding a snail by Marina Nelyubina

Marina Nelyubina



Marina Nelyubina vase wiith relief figure if a girl

Marina Nelyubina

Church of the Saviour Not Made by Human Hand,

Many various buildings have been built on the Abramtsevo estate by the resident artists. Perhaps the most famous of these is the Church of the Saviour Not Made by Human Hand, a miniscule church based on the medieval Novgorod designs. Inside the church are icons courtesy of Ilya Repin and Michael Nesterov, and the tiled stove and mosaic floor (in the shape of a blooming flower) are examples of Vrubel’s and Viktor Vasnetsov’s work respectively.


Anastasia Tarasova :

Anastasia Tarasova sculptured rhinoserous

Anastasia Tarasova

Anastasia Tarasova with sculpture

Anastasia Tarasova



Abramtsevo students and veterans meet

Abramtsevo students and veterans meet at 125 year anniversary



more on Abramtsevo artists here