Male Portraits (a sketch)

Mykhailo Boichuk

  • Male Portraits (a sketch) 2
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Basic information
Mykhailo Boichuk
Male Portraits (a sketch)
Date of creation
paper pencil
Dimensions (height x width, cm)
19.7 x 26.7
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
It is likely that these are sketches for the portrait of Metropolitan Andrey Sheptytsky, whose moral and material support allowed Boichuk to get acquainted with the cultural heritage and achievements of prominent European cultural centers such as Vienna, Krakow, Venice, Florence, Munich, and Paris, as well as to receive professional education. In the 1910s, there were a number of sketches of the portrait of Andrey Sheptytsky created by Mykhailo Boichuk. 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. On the reverse side of the sheet, there are conditional sketches of a male figure holding a stick, as well as a female head.