Carpathian Motif

Roman Selskyi

  • Carpathian Motif 2
  • Carpathian Motif 3
Basic information
Roman Selskyi
Carpathian Motif
Date of creation
Eastern Europe
oil painting
canvas oil
Dimensions (height x width, cm)
80 x 116
Information about author
Roman Selskyi
Artist's lifetime
Roman Selskyi (1903–1990) is a renowned Ukrainian artist, the founder of the school of "Ukrainian colourism". Born in the Sokal region, he moved to Lviv in 1905. He received his first art lessons at the Lviv Gymnasium with Leon Dołżycki, visited the Free Academy (1918–1921) as a gymnasium student, where he first met Margit Reich. At the same time, Roman Selsky studied at the studio of Kazimierz Sichulski. Throughout the year, he visited the workshop of Oleksa Novakivskyi. From 1921 to 1922 studied at the Lviv Art and Industry School. Afterwards, he joined the Krakow Academy of Fine Arts, where his teachers were Kazimierz Sichulski, Jozef Mehoffer, Jozef Pankiewicz, and Felician Kowarski. In 1925–1926 he made his first trip to France with Roman Turin to the studio of J. Pankiewicz, where he meets Margit Reich and attends the Fernand Léger Académie Moderne. In 1928–29 travels between Paris and Corsica with Roman Turin and Margit Reich. In 1929 he becomes the first president of the Artes Artistic Association and participates in its exhibitions. In 1931 he married Margit Reich. He was a member of the Association of Independent Ukrainian Artists from 1932 to 1939 and participated in its exhibitions. In 1937 he leaves for the last time with his wife for Paris. Since 1947 he teaches at the Lviv Institute of Applied and Decorative Arts, in 1966 he became a professor. From 1940 to 1975 he takes part in exhibitions of the Union of Artists. 1969 – Exhibition "Artes" in Wroclaw. In 1976 he had his first personal exhibition in the Lviv Art Gallery. Roman Selskyi, being a teacher at the institute, had over twenty graduates of the institute's students in various fields. It is difficult to single out any particular style in the artist's work, there are influences of post-impressionism, mystical realism, surrealism, avant-garde and colourism. His plenary motifs have a special atmosphere – these are landscapes from the Carpathian Mountains, Crimea, Hel, the suburbs of Lviv. The artist had a remarkable talent as both artist and teacher, and not only for his students, but also for the many like-minded people who still call themselves "apprentices" without being his actual students. 
Object description
A favourite motif in Roman Selskyi's work was the Ukrainian Carpathian Mountains, their views and the homes of Hutsuls. This region became a kind of Mecca for the artist, the main theme of all his art. Selski and his students travelled to the mountains every summer for two or three months. Roman Selskyi felt at home in the mountains, he was well-versed in mountaineering routes, had great respect among Hutsuls, so the Carpathian motives are especially emotional. In the mountainous themes, we can see thorny motifs of withered and blocked trees, motifs of overgrowth, deadwood, silhouettes of stumps. In "Carpathian Motif" in the foreground there are fallen trees in reddish-orange and violet colour, where young spruce is seen pulled up with the root slanted to the left, against the dark blue silhouette of the mountain. Above is a streak of bluish-blue with grey-pink clouds in the sky.