Nina Havrylko


The article studies the image of the great Ukrainian poet and artist Taras Shevchenko in the works of Ivan-Valentin Zadorozhny (1921–1988). The influence of the Great Kobzar on the formation of the creative personality of the artist is analyzed in this article.

Actuality of the research is not in doubt as it is really topical in the year of the 200-anniversary of the birth of Taras Shevchenko to investigate and analyze the influence of the Great Kobzar on the works of Ivan-Valentin Zadorozhny (1921–1988), the opinion leader of the Kyiv school of monumental art of 60 80s of the 20th century, as the image of Taras Shevchenko in the works of Ivan-Valentin Zadorozhny has not been investigated at all and the proper art analysis has not been made yet.

The article analyzes the influence of the Great Kobzar on the formation of the creative personality of the artist; in particular, those works of I.-V.Zadorozhny in which he turned to the words of Taras Shevchenko or his image are identified and systematized by genre. Additionally, the art analysis of these works is made, and the evolution of the artist’s movement from the first efforts to the works of the last period of his creative achievement is kept up. The article shows that the magnitude of the genius and uniqueness of Taras Shevchenko has always attracted the creative interest and inspired І.-V.Zadorozhny. The detailed analysis of the artistic Shevchenkiana of І.-V.Zadorozhny is fulfilled for the first time. Its role in fine art ofUkraineof 60-80s of the 20th century is outlined as well.

Based on the methodological comparative analysis, descriptive and analytical method of the artistic analysis, principles of consistency and historicism, the article shows for the first time in the history and implements in the artistic circulation the range of works from the artist’s creative heritage unknown to the Ukrainian spectator (for example, the unfinished artworks to the "Kobzar", the sketch with a pencil of Т.Shevchenko’s portrait, the watercolor drawings "Kateryna", "Reve ta stogne Dnipr shyrokyi" ("The wide Dnipro roars and moans") etc.). The following easel paintings of the master are examined: "Prometheus" created to honor the 100th anniversary of the death of Taras Shevchenko; the triptych "Tarasova pisnia" ("Taras’s song") to honor the 150th anniversary of the birth of Taras Shevchenko, "Chuchinska Oranta", and "Vselenska vecheria" ("Universal dinner"). The comparative analysis of these artworks and means of artistic expression applied by the artist (compositional techniques, rhythm, movement, the method of golden section, drawing, tonal gradations, a color palette, emphases etc.) are carried out by the author.

The works devoted to Taras Shevchenko in the genre of monumental and decorative arts are analyzed: stained glass "Shevchenko and the folk", "Our song – our glory", tapestry "Zasiysia, chorna nyvo, voleiu yasnoiu" ("Sow up, the black field, with bright liberty"). The graphic works of I. V.Zadorozhny are considered, too. Here belong his unfinished works such as paintings to "Kobzar", and some ground works (for instance, "Reve ta stogne Dnipr shyroky" ("The wide Dnipro roars and moans"), the portrait of Taras Shevchenko, the watercolors "Kateryna" etc.). The importance of innovative experimental approach – the tendency to flatness, linearity and ornamentality is revealed in the work on "Kobzar" which served a Bible for the artist.

The author of the article pays attention to the creative evolution of the Shevchenkiana of the artist from his first works to the works belonging to his last creative period. The author shows the way in which І.-V.Zadorozhny comprehends Shevchenko’s words in his every work, how he tried to pass the spirit of Shevchenko’s poetry and to see the most precious things for him, reflecting the image of the Great Kobzar in relation to the present and in the context of our success and tragic mistakes, hopes and aspirations for a better future. Every time the figure of Taras Shevchenko has given the artist new creative power and spiritual inspiration. The evolution of a master is examined in the light of his perception of the poet’s tragic line and pain for an unfortunate person and for the mutilated life of a woman in his masterpiece, which includes such works as "Prometheus" (1961) and "Vselenska vecheria" ("Universal dinner") (1983-1987), stained glass "Shevchenko and the folk" (1969), and tapestry "Zasiysia, chorna nyvo, voleiu yasnoiu" ("Sow up, the black field, with clear liberty") (1988-1989).

The author examines a number of formal methods of building the composition, such as deformation of proportions of the human body, which is a characteristic feature for the Ukrainian folk art used by the master. In particular, the article shows that Shevchenko’s works, a popular print, a Ukrainian icon, and some principles of the school of boychukists, made up a foundation for І.-V.Zadorozhny for his new creative search. The Taras Shevchenko’s musical principle of the thought development and the artistic expressiveness of the folk primitive were also close to І. V.Zadorozhny.

It is concluded that constant appealing to the figure of Taras Shevchenko and thanks to the best works dedicated to him, І.-V.Zadorozhny managed to escape from the ideological layers of the social realism art in his works.

The artist depicted Taras Shevchenko in such a way in order not to make him lifeless, but to infuse life in him. So, the works devoted to Taras Shevchenko are sufficient to inscribe the name of І.-V.Zadorozhny in the honorable book of the history of the Ukrainian and world fine art forever.


Ivan-Valentin Zadorozhny; Shevchenkiana; paintings and graphic works; monumental art; stainedglass; tapestry; Ukrainian school of monumental art