Various institutions organized activities to mark Kyiv Day last weekend. At one of exhibitions dedicated to this date I found a simple piece of art related to the war.

A student of experimental courses of Kiev painting, drew that picture:

“Life”, Tatiana Dobrovolskaya

Kiev painting is a local tradition of Petrykivka painting in Kiev region. Originally it was mural decorations of village houses. It was included in the UNESCO Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity , and is widely known tradition.

Decorated oven.

I guess you now have an idea of this style. You also may see that this is a kind of tradition confined by its own world.

“Life” by Tatiana Dobrovolskaya above is actually not an example of Petrykivka painting, is just has some its elements. Here is another such piece of work of the same student:

“Source of energy”

(Stylized) fountain as a source of energy also doesn’t really belong to Petrykivka painting world, even the mood is very different.

Another student’s picture is closer to it, but in fact has some Christian connotations:

“Tree of life”

In Christianity Tree of life is Cross (see four petal flower here), the flowering Cross is symbol of resurrection.

Probably an attempt to say something relevant to the spirit of the time or to a more general idea (“Life and war” or “Source of energy”) leads an artist out beyond the boundary of the tradition.
Most of the other pictures look more traditional:

“Living Treasury of the Kiev painting. Modern trends” exhibition in Ukrainian Folk Decorative Art Museum represents the works of the students of experimental courses in one of municipal children’s libraries.


I'm a freelancer based in Ukraine, l write mostly about details of life in a country during war. There won't be any military stuff, propaganda, war horrors hype or any violation of actual legislation in this blog. If you want to support my work send a donation as a friend at PayPal address unreporterua@gmail.com

2 thoughts on “Borders of traditions in decorative art

  1. What a brilliantly hopeful post. It has been a pleasure to scroll. I love the oven though it isn’t true Petrykivka. As I scrolled further I thought, “That looks like the Tree of Life.” And it was. 🙂 Thanks again for maintaining the Unreporter.

    1. Oh, I made a mistake. The oven actually IS an example of Petrykivka style (or an autentic looking stylization). I meant the 1st picrute, “Life. I corrected my text.
      Cross as Tree of Life is mentioned in Orthodox liturgical texts.

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