Female Portrait (on the back there are sketches of figures)

Mykhailo Boichuk

  • Female Portrait (on the back there are sketches of figures) 2
  • Female Portrait (on the back there are sketches of figures) 3
Basic information
Mykhailo Boichuk
Female Portrait (on the back there are sketches of figures)
Date of creation
oil painting tempera painting
paper oil tempera
Dimensions (height x width, cm)
27 x 21
Yaroslava Muzyka Fund
Lozinski Palace
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
This is a bust-length portrait of a young woman; she is looking directly at the viewer. The portrayed woman has a tanned face and black wavy hair parted in the middle, which is falling down on her shoulders with two small strands. The woman is dressed in a white shirt. There are six strings of the red and orange necklace on her neck. The background is ochre-green. There is a brown circle with a blue stripe around the girl's head. The bottom and side edges of the sheet are outlined with an orange stripe. On the back of the portrait there is a pencil sketch of the girl in the crown sitting with her hand outstretched. Under the image of the girl there is another female figure standing. Besides, there are two female heads there. On the right, there are two waist-length images of women: the hands of one of them are folded at the bottom, the other one is holding a bird. These are probably sketches for the composition “Yaroslavna's Lament”. Most of Boichuk's works were destroyed after his execution by the Soviet authorities in 1937. However, some of Mykhailo Boichuk's works have been preserved thanks to the Lviv artist Yaroslava Muzyka, who, since 1914 when Mykhailo Boichuk was forced to leave Lviv with no opportunity to take his paintings with himself, had in keeping the artist's works and his small but significant archive. The Yaroslava Muzyka Fund is housed in the Lviv National Art Gallery. Presumably, the works we see now are only drafts and sketches for greater compositions.