Serhii Vasylkivsky (1854-1917) was one of the most prolific Ukrainian artists of the pre-revolutionary period and an expert on Ukrainian ornamentation and folk art.
In 1876, contrary to his father's wishes, Vasylkivsky left for the St. Petersburg Academy of Fine Arts. While there, Vasylkivsky was supervised by well known landscape painters Volodymyr Orlovsky and Mykhailo Klodt. His education was supplemented with traveling exhibitions and trips back home. Upon graduation in 1885 he traveled to Europe and North Africa on a scholarship from the Academy, painting places he visited from Spain to Germany and Egypt.
In Paris, Vasylkivsky became fascinated with the Barbizon school. By the time he returned to the Academy, Vasylkivsky brought with him an exhibition of almost 50 art works. Critics praised these paintings, calling them "miniature pearls". The paintings reflected the influence of the Barbizon School's panoramic depiction of space, the sky and the silvery atmosphere of "Pierre Corot". Vasylkivsky retained these characteristics in his Ukrainian landscapes. After settling in Kharkiv in 1888, he became active in Ukrainian artistic circles and headed the architectural and art society there.
"Boat on the river bank"
The end of the nineteenth century and early twentieth century saw an upsurge of interest in Ukrainian culture and flourishing of Ukrainian painting. Painters such as Serhiy Vasylkivsky and Oleksandr Murashko introduced new subjects, new approaches, new visions and new techniques to keep abreast with the latest developments in European painting of those times.
Vasylkivsky left behind almost 3000 works of realist and impressionist art, sketches, drawings, a great number of which were lost during World War II. He was the first, after Taras Shevchenko, to draw upon subject matter from Ukraine's past and completed a number of works on historical and ethnographic themes. Together with Mykola Samokysh and ethnographer and archaeologist, Dmytro Yavornytsky, Vasylkivsky worked on the album "From Ukrainian Antiquity" (1900). Vasylkivsky died at age 62 in Kharkiv.
"Hut in Oposhne"
"Spring day in Ukraine"
"On the dam. Oxen at the ford"
"Village above the river"
"Flooding on the Dnieper"