Plowman (a sketch)

Mykhailo Boichuk

  • Plowman (a sketch) 2
  • Plowman (a sketch) 3
Basic information
Mykhailo Boichuk
Plowman (a sketch)
Date of creation
1st half of the 20th c.
oil painting tempera painting
Dimensions (height x width, cm)
16.5 x 26.2
Information about author
Mykhailo Boichuk
Artist's lifetime
Mykhailo Boichuk was a Ukrainian muralist and representative of the Ukrainian cultural Renaissance of the early twentieth century. He was the founder of Boichukism, the original school of Ukrainian art, and leader of the group of Boichukists. His name is given to an artistic phenomenon that combined the forms of folk art and the heritage of Byzantium and Proto-Renaissance. The French called it Renovation Byzantine (Neo-Byzantism). In 1913, he became a member of the Shevchenko Scientific Society, and in 1917 – of the Ukrainian Scientific Society. Mykhailo Boichuk was born on October 30, 1882, in the village of Romanivka, near Terebovlia. He received an excellent artistic education thanks to the support of Metropolitan Andrey Sheptytsky. The painter studied in Lviv, Vienna, Krakow, and later in Munich and Paris. In 1909, he founded his own school where Mykola Kasperovych, Zofia Nalepinska, Zofia Baudouin de Courtenay, Helena Schramm and others studied. In 1911, he returned to Lviv where he worked as a fine art restorer and muralist at the National Museum (now the Andrey Sheptytsky National Museum in Lviv). In 1917, he became one of the founding professors of the Ukrainian State Academy of Arts where he headed the icon and fresco studio. In 1925, Mykhailo was one of the organizers of the Association of Revolutionary Art of Ukraine. The most significant works made together with students were paintings on modern themes in the Lutsk barracks in Kyiv in 1919, Sanatorium for Peasants on the coast of the Khadzhibey Estuary in Odesa between 1927 and 1928, and the Chervonozavodskyi Theater in Kharkiv between 1933 and 1935. All monumental paintings have not survived. On November 25, 1936, Mykhailo Boichuk was arrested and charged with Ukrainian bourgeois nationalism as well as being a leader of a national-fascist terrorist organization. The artist was shot, and most of his works were destroyed.
Object description
The work is made in bright and contrasting colors. The plowman dressed in white clothes and a yellow hat follows a plow pulled by a red horse. There is a purple arable strip underneath them. Further from them, the painter depicted a pond with dark green water, on the shore of which a tree grows. Mykhailo Boichuk often used plant elements in his other works, appealing to an ancient ornamentalism. A grey sky with barely purple clouds stretched over the figures. In the foreground, there is also a sketch of the second knee-length figure of a horse, which is depicted pulling something tensely with its head lowered. This horse is painted in dark ocher colors and is shown on a green background. On the back of the work, there is a pencil sketch of the male figure and ornament.