Portrait of Taras Shevchenko

Mykhailo Boichuk

  • Portrait of Taras Shevchenko 2
  • Portrait of Taras Shevchenko 3
Basic information
Mykhailo Boichuk
Portrait of Taras Shevchenko
Date of creation
paper pencil
Dimensions (height x width, cm)
25.3 x 20.8
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
Mykhailo Boichuk was attracted by the images of prominent figures of Ukrainian culture; among such figures were the poet Taras Shevchenko, Metropolitan Andrey Sheptytsky, and the historian Mykhailo Hrushevskyi. These are sketches and drawings made in pencil or pencil in combination with black watercolor. They solve various tasks related to the expressive possibilities of lines, strokes, and the chiaroscuro; however, they have something in common, namely the artist's desire, as in the iconography, to show not the rough materiality but the spiritual basis of the image. Significant and solemn characters are usually depicted full face; the story of their lives is concentrated in a tense gaze directed at the viewer. All fleeting things disappear. The composition is constructed in two dimensions that have nothing to do with the material world.
Portrayed person
The name of the person portrayed
Taras Shevchenko
Lifetime of the person portrayed