Shepherd. Old man (sketches)

Mykhailo Boichuk

  • Shepherd. Old man (sketches) 2
Basic information
Mykhailo Boichuk
Shepherd. Old man (sketches)
Date of creation
tracing paper pen Indian ink
Dimensions (height x width, cm)
21.9 x 11.8
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 drawings of peasants are characterized by a deep connection with the sacred tradition and a desire to embody the spiritual. The slight tilts of figures, soft and smooth rhythms create an atmosphere of slowness and calm. Motifs taken from everyday life become the embodiment of goodness and inner harmony, as well as assume symbolic meaning. Mykhailo Boichuk taught his students that real art should be "a manifestation of the spiritual quality of both the artist and the people''. The upper part of the work depicts a boy sitting on the ground. He bent his left leg under himself and leaned on the ground with his left hand. The boy put his right hand with a stick on the knee of his right leg; his head is also placed on the knee. The grazing sheep are depicted to the left of the boy's figure. In the lower part of the sheet, there is a figure of an old man with a moustache and boots on his feet; he sits on the bank, leaning with his elbows on his knees and placing his head on the palms of his hands. The edge of the bank and water are depicted to the left of the man. Four birds sit on the stone above the water. Both images are made with contour lines. Under the lower figure there is an inscription "Бойч." made in pencil.