Girl (Sketches of two faces on the reverse side)

Mykhailo Boichuk

  • Girl (Sketches of two faces on the reverse side) 2
  • Girl (Sketches of two faces on the reverse side) 3
Basic information
Mykhailo Boichuk
Girl (Sketches of two faces on the reverse side)
Date of creation
paper pencil
Dimensions (height x width, cm)
24.3 x 15.4
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 waist-length image of a young woman sitting with a turn three-quarters to the right. The portrayed woman has elongated eyes under long eyebrows, a straight nose, and a small mouth. On her head there is a headscarf, from under which curly strands of hair are visible. There is a string of beads on the woman's neck. There are conditional geometric figures in the background on the right. On the back of the sheet there are watercolor sketches of two faces, one of which is crossed out. In Boichuk's small, seemingly unfinished and sort of accidentally made sketches, in fact, there is a serious search for a new aesthetic canon, a national type, which would originate from the naive images of the Virgin Mary in the icons painted by folk artists and develop on the basis of observations of reality with decent restraint and without the sentimental admiration, which is typical of the creative works by stylists. The numerous images of girls and women painted by Mykhailo Boichuk show the integrity of the author's position and refinement of the idea, which is far from currying favor with the public.