The Art of the Ukraine – Part 1

Ukrainian artists are known throughout the world, their art is unique and splendid using many different techniques to create paintings, sculpture and other art forms that are somehow representative of the great country itself. In this blog we take a look at the best art and artists that ever came from the Ukraine.

Dmitry Levitsky 1735–1822

Our first great Ukrainian artists is Dmitry Levitsky who was a superb portrait artist, especially recognized for his formal portraits which celebrated posture, colour and most of all his mastery of tone. His big breakthrough came when there was an exhibition at the Academy of Arts in Saint Petersburg, Levitsky exhibited six of his portraits. One portrait was actually of the academy’s director who was so impressed he appointed Levitsky as the professor of the portrait painting class. Probably his most famous works are the series of portraits he painted of the pupils of Smolny Institute for Young Ladies.

Taras Shevchenko 1814–1861

One of the best known Ukrainian artists was Taras Shevchenko, he was also a prestigious author. Known for his illustrations and great paintings, Shevchenko was a member of the Imperial Academy of Arts where he won many prizes for oil and landscape paintings. Most of his themes were of everyday life in 19th Century Ukraine, its people, the culture and the country. Adept at landscapes and portraits he was a truly gifted artist, perhaps his best-known works were from the Picturesque Ukraine group of paintings.

Ilya Repin 1844–1930

Repin helped to define new techniques and ideas, some of his paintings were highly experimental and he was a major figure in bringing Ukrainian art into acceptance in Western Europe. Repin was one of the most outstanding realist painters of his time, he painted the upper class but favored the common man, his most favourite subject was of historical conflicts. This is shown in some of his major works, Reply of the Zaporozhian Cossacks, and Ivan the Terrible and his son Ivan.

Alexander Bogomazov 1875–1919

Known as the Ukrainian Picasso, Bogomazov was a celebrated writer as well as a fine painter. During his fairly short career he tried and succeeded in many styles of art, especially Spectralism and Cubo-Futurism. His most treasured pieces are, Portrait of the Daughter, and Composition N2.

Ivan Marchuk 1936–

A contemporary Ukrainian artist his fame spread from Ukraine to North America where he also lived and worked. Marchuk actually made the Daily Telegraph Newspaper in Britain list, the Top 100 Living Geniuses. In his long and prolific career, he has created over 4,000 paintings and exhibited at over one hundred solo exhibitions around the world. Marchuk developed his own technique of dabbing the paint onto the canvas. During his life he has had many periods of style, in which he painted in different manners and used new techniques.

These great Ukrainian artists have all left their mark on the world stage, they have championed the cause for promoting Ukrainian art around the globe, and have created some of the finest art of their time.