Like craftsmen from Palekh, Mstera artists were originally engaged in iconography, as well as the restoration of the frescoes in churches and wall painting. By the middle of the 18th century they began to create icons of "the fine painting" with a lot of small, carefully rendered details. The craftsmen started to paint jewel boxes and papier-mache boxes after the revolution, in 1931.
Mstera lacquer miniature painting is influenced by the traditions of Old Believers’ icon painting, folk art, and Persian paintings. The work is performed on white paint with a variety of colors, pleasing your eyes with amazing color transitions, and with a stunning ornamental frame. The completed miniature is covered with six layers of lacquer. The jewel boxes are mostly rectangular.
The theme of the paintings is the life of peasants, as well as fairy tales, novels, and still-life paintings. Landscape painting plays an important role.
The factory is located in the village of Mstera in the Vyaznikovsky district of the Vladimir Oblast. The factory has a shop.