Vycinanka is a type of decorative and applied folk art; it is the art of cutting delicate patterns and pictures from paper. It first appeared inChinaand, over the course of time, inEuropeas well.
This art genre is known as vycinanka in Belarus, wycinanka in Poland, vitinanka in Ukraine, karpiniai in Lithuania, decoupage in France, Scherenschnitt in Germany, papercut inEngland.
Silhouette cutting (black-and-white realistic images of people, nature motifs, everyday life scenes) began spreading among the Belarusian nobility since the 16th century. Folk vycinanka differed from the silhouette cutting in technique. A paper sheet was folded like an accordion, or in half twice and then in triangles, or just in half, and after that simple delicate patterns were cut on the sides. Thus, individual elements were symmetrical.
Modern Belarusian vycinanka is characterized by its abundant and diversified themes, technique, original design solutions, but at the same time it is always guided by traditional folk motifs.