History of Lavra (Eng) - Geschiedenis van het Icoon (Ned) - Ukrainian folk art (Eng)- Interessante boeken

The study, preservation and propagation of traditional folk culture are now one of the top-priority tasks for most countries of European traditional culture. This task is especially urgent for peoples of the countries, where on the verge of the third millennium the traditional culture is not only a historical fact but also the living reality. Ukraine is one of such countries.

The Ukrainian people in the course of centuries-old history created distinctive, artistically unique national art in which their social and aesthetic ideals, patriotism and humanism were reflected. The fine arts were originated on the territory of modern Ukraine as far back as the period of primitive communal system. Formation of Kyiv Rus and the adoption of Christianity promoted the development of culture and of the fine arts in Rus. Together with architecture, the monumental painting achieved a high level of development (i.e., mosaics and frescoes of cathedrals, monasteries and churches throughout Ukraine). Icon painting became the art of broad generalization. In the 16th century, new genres of painting were originated (battle scenes, historical events, portraits and landscapes). The beginning of book printing in Ukraine led to rapid development of the art of engraving.

Distinctive original features are already seen in monumental art of ancient Ukrainian churches. Those traditions of monumental wall painting developed during the next centuries. Churches - stone and wooden - with wall paintings “survived” till the present time. Folk craftsmen, most often anonymous, were the authors of church paintings and icons, iconostases in particular. In their works - icons and big monumental compositions - they reflected realities of life, reproduced peculiarities of world outlook, tastes and thoughts of their environment.


Petrekivka painting
Ukrainian painted wooden plate

Ukrainian national art

Rapid development of professional, as well as folk painting in the XVI century resulted in establishment of recognizable and original stylistics and visualization of that art. Within the boundaries of Icon painting folk artists tried to reproduce their own perception of image of the ordinary man - their contemporary, his feelings, aspirations, tried to reflect colourful national types. Within the limits of religious theme everyday and social motives showed up.
In the XVI -XVII centuries certain evangelistic subjects became especially popular that were particularly close to the world outlook of the people, it's moral and aesthetic norms and persuasions. Subjects such as the ”The Passions”, "Abraham's sacrifice", Icons of the Blessed Virgin, Michael the Archangel, Paraskeva can be named. Icons or sacred images became indispensable components of interior decoration of houses. Under the sacred images that usually hung at the prominent place of the house named pokut (the corner between eastern and southern windows of the chamber) the most important ceremonies were performed, people prayed before those sacred images, blessing at the most important moments of life was also given with the help of those sacred images.
Home icons were painted on board, rarely - on linen or. Folk painters - the authors of the sacred images - practically always were anonymous. Almost every locality had its own circle of painters - craftsmen that stuck to settled and favourite national motives and traditions. Most folk icons surprise us with their sincerity and na
¿vety of interpretation of the chosen images.

Clean, colored or painted egg became the mythic and poetical as well as religious and ritual symbol even in the most ancient civilizations existing on the Earth (universal or cosmic egg). In myths of different peoples it is the image, from which the entire universe arises, a certain divinity, human race, and also it symbolizes the sun, the warmth, the life, the creator-demiurge. Many peoples connect with the egg not only creation or birth of the world on the Earth, but the time structure on the whole. These cosmological functions of the egg symbol also correspond to its important role in rituals of fertility, revival, awakening for the new life.
The Ukrainians also created mythic and poetical images of the egg as the source of life, wealth and well-being ("yaitse-raitse"), there are also a great number of Christian legends and fables about Easter eggs. Beautifully painted pysankas` were also a wonderful decoration for baskets with food, which people carried to church for consecration before Easter. Empty pysankas' shells were often kept as decoration of dwellings, stringing them on laces and hanging them near Icons (as a rule, by three). Pysankas` were also drawn for personal use, and since the 1960s they (or painted wooden models of pysankas`) started to be sold at Easter markets and fairs.
Tradition of pysankarstvo (Easter egg painting) is one of the most ancient and stable in all ethnic Ukrainian lands.

Ukraininan embroidery


Folk art… embroidery, Easter eggs painting, weaving, woodcarving, ceramics, wooden architecture, decorative paintings, Icon painting, decorating clothes and household objects…

According to ethnographers' theory craving for folk crafts is programmed at genetic level. The story of one successful businessman proves this. He constantly attended all the exhibitions where the ceramic products were presented. «I can't understand why but I can look at these lacquered plates, pots, spoons», businessman said. Soon everything cleared up. He learnt that his great-grandfather was famous for his ceramic dishware. And potter Mykola was well-known for its originality and quality far from his village. The philosophy of the craftsmen makes «genetic» suppositions of ethnographers more precise. They suppose that each of their product «scan» the biorhythms of the Ukrainian people. Colouring and rhythmics correspond to mentality. It means that the owner doesn't feel comfortably if non-close, small oriental patterns is prevailed in dwelling interior.


Ukrainian paintings

Painted Easter eggs

Bezoek onze web winkel / Visit our web store

Copyright@Luthien 2003 -2011