Krychevsky, Vasyl Hryhorovych

Caracas, 1950
Oil on paper on board
30.1 x 44.5 cm
Born in the Kharkiv region of Ukraine, Krychevsky was one of the founders and first president of the Ukrainian Academy of Fine Art. Krychevsky was an accomplished artist, art scholar, architect, and theatre and film set designer. Renowned for his “architectural landscapes,” Krychevsky’s paintings are strongly influenced by French Impressionism but his sunny, harmonious colors and lyrical moods are inspired by the light of southern Ukraine. 

Krychevsky is widely recognized for his large impact on the revival of interest in the folk arts of Ukraine. He is particularly acclaimed for the manner in which he was able to incorporate traditional folk ornamentation into modern Ukrainian book illustration and design. As an architect, Krychevsky’s greatest accomplishments are the design of the building of the Poltava Zemstvo (regional council), now the Poltava Museum (1903), an outstanding example of synthesis of Art Nouveau and national revival style, and the design of the Taras Shevchenko Museum in the city of Kaniv (1929), a unique example of Ukrainian Art Deco architecture. During the brief period of Ukrainian independence, from 1917 to 1919, Krychevsky was commissioned to design the official state coat of arms, state seals, bank notes, and other documents. 

An avid collector and student of Ukrainian folk crafts, Krychevsky created his own designs for kilims, printed fabrics, embroideries, ceramics and furniture based on traditional motifs. In 1940, over 1,100 examples of his work were displayed at an exhibition in Kyiv. Unfortunately a large portion of Krychevsky’s work was destroyed by the Bolsheviks in 1918 and by the Soviet regime during World War II. In 1947, after teaching for several decades at the Art Institutes in Kyiv, Odesa and Lviv, Krychevsky immigrated to South America. He died in 1952 in Caracas, Venezuela. Krychevsky’s important works are held in museums and private art collections.

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