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A matryoshka doll, also known as Russian nesting/nested doll, refers to a set of wooden dolls of decreasing size placed one inside the other. They are sometimes incorrectly referred to as “babushka dolls” (grandmother doll). The first Russian nested doll set was carved in 1890 by Vasily Zvyozdochkin from a design by Sergey Malyutin, who was a folk crafts painter at Abramtsevo. Traditionally the outer layer is a woman, dressed in a sarafan, a long and shapeless traditional Russian peasant jumper dress. The figures inside may be of either gender; the smallest, innermost doll is typically a baby turned from a single piece of wood. Much of the artistry is in the painting of each doll, which can be very elaborate.

matroyoshka-nails

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