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by Anna Volkova


Anna Volkova

The leitmotif in Anna Volkova’s art works is the transience of life. This central theme is expressed in her love for both the subject matter and the choice of material. Inspired by the aesthetics of Dutch seventeenth century art works, she frequently alludes to allegories found in floral still lifes created by the old masters, seamlessly integrating them with porcelain.


Drawing inspiration from the still lifes of the Dutch seventeenth century, Volkova’s tulips and flowers emerge as porcelain sculptures, delicately encapsulating the fragile elegance of blooms, as if freshly plucked from an Ambrosius Bosschaert (1573 – 1621) bouquet. Her creations skillfully convey the delicate and dynamic essence inherent in flowers. Her porcelain sculptures pay homage to the enduring inspiration that flowers have bestowed upon countless artists and designers throughout history. Volkova is captivated by the diverse shapes, colors, fleeting existence, and fragility of flowers. 


In her pursuit to capture the flowers’ beauty, Volkova has chosen porcelain for its purity, plasticity, and translucency, symbolizing both cleanliness and luxury while eloquently expressing the grace of flowers. Her artistic journey involving experiments with porcelain led her to develop her own unique technique based on old Chinese recipes. This enables her to make exceptionally thin and translucent objects. Each flower from a petal to a stem is hand sculpted from tinted or white porcelain and acquires its distinctive appearance after firing at a high temperature. Therefore, every flower is unique in its shape and color combination. The non-glazed treatment allows for a gentle matte texture, giving it the appearance of a real flower. The intricate, almost baroque shape of the flower and its fragility almost resemble pieces of fine jewelry.


Anna Volkova (St. Petersburg, 1974) studied at the Fine Art Academy (St. Petersburg), the Rietveld Academy (Amsterdam) and the Sandberg Institute (Amsterdam). Since 1998 she lives in the Netherlands and works as a professional artist in her studio in Amsterdam. Volkova creates artworks for both public and private spaces, engaging in exhibitions and undertaking commissioned projects. She is mainly acknowledged for her porcelain and mosaic art works, tiles and window installations. Volkova’s work is featured in various collections, such as the Princessehof Museum in Leeuwarden, the Netherlands; the Dutch Central Bank (DNB); the Museum für Kunst und Gewerbe (MK&G) in Hamburg, Germany; the State Hermitage Museum’s Contemporary Porcelain Department in Russia; and the Museum of Fine Arts (MFAH) in Houston, USA. Additionally, her works adorn private collections worldwide.

'Whispers of Time' in Blue
‘Whispers of Time’ in Blue


The combination of seventeenth-century Dutch old masters, flowers, and porcelain aligns with the grand flower vases in Delftware. Therefore, it is not surprising that two impressive Delftware middle segments adorn these two contemporary creations by Volkova.


The loose segments served as the central components for two large Delftware ornamental vases. Dating back to approximately 1690, such flower vases, composed of four separate tiered segments with a spouted cover and handles made up of two entwined snakes, were produced at De Grieksche A (The Greek A) factory in Delft. Under the patronage of Queen Mary II, who was passionate about porcelain, Delftware and her gardens, Delft factories developed their technical expertise in producing these flower vases. Inspired by Queen Mary, it became fashionable in aristocratic circles to decorate their residences with vases full of all varieties of cut flowers. Given the inherent fragility of these often imposingly sized vases, it’s not surprising that many have only survived in a highly fragmented state.

'Whispers of Time' in Colors
‘Whispers of Time’ in Colors


These two artworks by Volkova reflect the growing interest in Delftware among Dutch artists and designers. Once dismissed as a backward and outdated product, Delftware is being appreciated anew, this time for its distinct Dutch associations. Loose original seventeenth-century segments have more often been the starting point for flower vase designs by incorporating them into contemporary collages. The Kunstmuseum, The Hague, houses “Faded Glory” by Wieki Somers from 2007, where a similar middle segment of a flower vase is part of the artwork. Also in the Kunstmuseum, in “William and Mary” by Ineke Hans from 2007, the base of a seventeenth-century flower vase is incorporated by the artist. The top is adorned with clear blue glass decorated with Tudor roses made of white glass.



Anna Volkova
‘Whispers of Time’ in blue and white, 2024
Porcelain and a fragment of a 17th-century Delftware ornamental vase
Approximate height 125 cm. / 50 in.

Anna Volkova
‘Whispers of Time’ in colors, 2024
Porcelain and a fragment of a 17th-century Delftware ornamental vase
Approximate height 135 cm. / 53 in.

Please note that the final product may vary from the images displayed

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