Leopold Levytskyi

  • Worker 2
Basic information
Leopold Levytskyi
Date of creation
printmaking etching drypoint
imprint on paper
Dimensions (height x width, cm)
12 x 9.6
Information about author
Leopold Levytskyi
Artist's lifetime
Leopold Levytskyi is a Ukrainian graphic artist and painter. He is also a master of printmaking. The artist had a key role in forming modern Ukrainian graphic art. He was born in the village of Burdiakivtsi, Ternopil region. He studied in Paris in 1930–1931, and later at the Academy of Fine Arts in Krakow (1931–1932). Levytskyi started his creative activity during his studies at the Academy of Fine Arts in Krakow, where he evolved as an artist. The artistic environment of Krakow formed the artist’s worldview, system of ideals, and political beliefs, which determined the specifics of the painter's artistic thinking. He was the initiator and co-founder of the Krakow Group. In 1932, he organized an exhibition, which was closed due to its social orientation and sharp themes of works. The artist was imprisoned for three weeks and expelled from the Academy. In the 1930s, he was constantly watched by the police. From 1935, he lived in Chortkiv, Ternopil region, sometimes visiting exhibitions in Lviv, Krakow, and Stanyslaviv. In September 1939, he headed the City Council in Chortkiv, collaborated with the newspaper "New Life", and worked as a decorator at the House of Officers. During World War II, the artist together with his wife Eugenia Nadliar fled to Uzbekistan. In 1946, he settled in Lviv and joined the newly formed Union of Artists of the USSR; his graphic works created in Uzbekistan served as the grounds for his joining the union. The artist's work was undoubtedly influenced by the Lviv environment. In the 1960s, the artist developed a unique stylistic manner, which combined spontaneity and technical skills. The artist died working at his desk with a chisel in his hand on May 14, 1973. He was buried in Lviv, in Lychakiv Cemetery. During his life, Leopold Levytskyi did not have a single personal exhibition. The first one took place in Lviv (1974) a year after the artist's death.
Object description
While studying at the Academy of Fine Arts in Krakow between 1926 and 1932, as well as in Paris between 1929 and 1931, Leopold Levytskyi, a member of the Krakow Group (1932–1937), was influenced by the avant-garde artistic trends, which affected his later creative work. The artist's oeuvre is dominated by two figurative themes, namely an individual and a city. These two principles, the humanistic and the urban ones, are conceptually complementary and interdependent. The images of a man and a city accompanied the artist from the beginning of his career, namely from the 1930s. Modern artistic tendencies are clearly traced in his compositions of this time. The creative interest in avant-garde artistic methods, fascination with late Cubism and Expressionism, as well as active socio-political activities of the artist and his personal position determined the thematic range of images. Despite the dominant industrial-urban plot of the works, inspired by the fascination with the plasticity of Futurism and Cubo-Futurism, the image of a person was very important for the artist, as it is evident from his portraiture, full-length images, and genre painting. Social issues were the main theme of the artist's works of the early period. Given that the artist depicted large social groups, ranging from the poor, underprivileged, and workers, to the representatives of the political elite, he focused on the psychological traits of the portrayed people to emphasize social contrasts.