The cover art to Kantner's 1970 solo album, "Blows Against the Empire" has always intrigued me.
It is credited to CCCP, and Kantner explains in the CD reissue, "It's from a series of lacquer paintings on boxes, Russian folk art, much like the icons in their churches."
However, a close look at the painting reveals that it depicts a scene from the folk tale of Prince Ivan and the Firebird. Yes, this is the same folk tale upon which Igor Stravinsky's famous ballet "The Firebird" is based. Prince Ivan captures the Firebird, then releases it after the Firebird gives him a Magic Feather, which will summon the Firebird to aid the Prince when he is later captured by an evil spirit.
The tale of Prince Ivan and the Firebird is a common subject for Russian lacquer boxes. Here are some images of other lacquer boxes with the same theme:
http://www.russianlacquerart.com/galler ... 19/enlarge
http://www.russianlacquerart.com/galler ... 29/enlarge
http://www.russianlacquerart.com/galler ... 47/enlarge
http://www.russianlacquerart.com/cnt/Kh ... 18/enlarge
http://www.russianlacquerart.com/cnt/Pa ... 96/enlarge