The beautiful geometric pattern “Cobalt Net” has long been the hallmark of the Imperial Porcelain Factory (St. Petersburg). He is also recognized abroad, considered one of the symbols of Russian porcelain. This blue mesh was created by Anna Adamovna Yatskevich (1904-1952), a plant artist, in 1944.
For the first time, dishes with such a pattern came out in 1944, but it was not blue, but gold. But the artist did not like how the gold mesh looks on the finished product and she changed the color on subsequent models from gold to deep blue, cobalt. So this pattern first appeared.
In 1958, the service in this color version received a gold medal at the World Exhibition in Brussels. This was a big surprise, because, unlike many exhibits of the exhibition, the service was not created specifically for it, but was in the assortment of the factory for more than 10 years and was an example of the classic porcelain production of the LFZ (then the Lomonosov Porcelain Factory). Since that time, the name “Cobalt Mesh” has been attached to the pattern. Immediately after the exhibition, the popularity of this model of dishes in the Soviet Union increased dramatically. Many dream of having on their table, if not a service, then at least a tea cup with the famous blue mesh.
And what became its prototype and where did the artist get this idea from?
There are two main versions of how the artist Anna Yatskevich got the idea for this drawing, and which one is correct is still being debated. According to the first version, the idea of the “cobalt net” was inspired by another set with a net. This is an 18th-century service created by Dmitry Vinogradov himself for Elizaveta Petrova, which is called “Own”. In 1944, the porcelain factory turned 200 years old, and the chief artist N.M. Suetin advised the factory artists to prepare products for this event based on classical motifs from the history of Russian porcelain. It was he who prompted Anna Adamovna to try to make a drawing by analogy with Elizabeth Petrovna’s service. In this service, small pink flowers were inscribed on an openwork grid.
According to the second version, Anna Abramovna came up with the idea of the cobalt mesh by analogy with the windows of houses in besieged Leningrad cross-glued crosswise. The artist survived the siege, lost her mother and sister during the famine years, and thus wanted to perpetuate their memory. Most of the artists themselves tend to this version, but so far the first version is considered the official one.
Anna Yatskevich has another drawing, known, perhaps, to everyone who has ever come across LFZ porcelain. The famous LFZ logo (invented in 1936 and placed on all products until 2006), depicted on products manufactured at the plant, also belongs to her.
Unfortunately, Anna Adamovna did not live to see the day when the painting she developed became famous and one of the most beloved, she died in 1952.
Cobalt mesh has always been hand-drawn, but the factory has recently switched to decorating with a decal (decal) to lower the price of cobalt mesh products and make them more affordable. According to collectors and lovers of porcelain, the decal, of course, loses to hand-painted, but that’s a completely different story.
Not so long ago, new interpretations of the classical cobalt mesh appeared. They are Blues Grid (red grid), Jazz Grid (gold grid), and Platinum Grid. These “grids” are also made with the help of transfer pictures, and are not hand-painted.
I don’t know about you, but it seems to me that Anna Adamovna’s original pattern is the most comfortable of all, the same cobalt one.
Thank you for your attention to the article and pluses. Cozy August!