On the left bank of the Volga river, not far from Nizhny Novgorod, there is Gorodets, a large village founded in the 12th century. The territory along the Volga river was favourable for trade, there was Makariyevskaya, the greatest Russian fair. The population began to develop different kinds of craft; in Gorodets itself there were smiths, spice-cake cookers, and dyers. But there was a big amount of carpenters and woodcarvers: the wood was rich in cheap raw material, all the products were sold in the town itself or at "Makariya".
Peasants of all neighboring villages were engaged in this craft: some people cut out spoons, others sharpened bowls and cups, and the third part produced tools for spinning and weaving. On the territories situated near the Volga river flax came up, women spinned, and weaved canvases for sale, therefore carvers and painters had plenty of work.
For a short period of time painters mastered painting. Though images are basically flat, instead of treatment of light and shade shimmering tints and colours were employed in painting. Image detail, precise lines and clarity of portrayal were depicted masterly.
Small sized ware or utensils (salt-cellars, boxes for baby toys), as a rule, are painted with patterns of vegetation in which roses, leaves, branches and plumage are of white colour. In decorative panels there are either two or three different scenes or one picture. People are pictured in costumes with features of last century clothes. If an image object is shown to be inside a building, the interior of rooms reminds of some ancient architecture with quaint columns, arches, and other space contains vegetative ornament. That's why there is an impression of idleness, smartness due to contrasts, bright colours and mythical pictures.
Today traditional national 'Gorodets painting' is developing as the art of decoration of flat surface in the historically formed centre which gave birth to it. Such kind of painting enables foremen to use different forms, colours and shades without using heat treatment. Multiplicity of palette is boundless and for 60 years already the foremen of "Gorodets painting' factory keep and develop traditions of the national craft.