This traditional Kholui box was created by outstanding painter Mikhail Veselov.
The composition shows a scene from the popular Russian fairy-tale "Twelve months".
Trying to find a snowdrop flower in the dead of winter is trying to make gold out of lead, or water into wine. However, during her wild goose chase she runs into twelve men. But, these are no ordinary men, they are actually the overseers for each of the twelve months during the year. She explains to the her dilemma and they decide to help her. Since the snowdrop only blooms in April the months decide to change the seasons very quickly so that she would be able to fill her basket with the flowers and return home to her evil step-mother. In a matter of minutes she got the flowers, thanked the men, and the winter season was restored as she made her way home to spite her step-mother.
A dualistic palette is used here with cool blues and greens that are contrasted with reds, browns, and purples. The appearance of these warm tones find themselves in key areas, such as the campfire surrounded by the months, the clothing of the characters, and the town in the background. Gold and aluminum paints are applied in very subtle amounts to attract a good degree of light to the scene. The layout is done well and conforms to the ancient icon painting techniques that allow for multiple scenes to be taking place on the same composition.
The box is constructed out of paper-mache. Black lacquer covers the exterior and red lacquer covers the interior of the box. Gold and aluminum beading frames the scene, while gold filigree with aluminum accents wraps around the sides of the box. The box has a hinge located above the composition and rests on a flat bottom. Upon completing the work on this piece the artist writes the title, Kholui, 2003, his name, and states the fact that this painting is an artistic original on the interior of the lid. He also writes the title, Kholui, 2003, and signs his name at the bottom of the composition.