Ukraine Arts and Music

By | September 22, 2021


Starting from the century. Street. C. in Ukraine was enriched with notable artistic manifestations due both to the Scythians and to the contacts with the Greek colonies of the Black Sea (Tyras, Olbia, Chersonese, Pantikapaion, today Kerč), which gave life to the so-called Greek-Scythian art. Christian churches (VX century), of simple structure but very decorated internally, have been found in the northern area of ​​the Black Sea. Among the Byzantine churchesintact is that of San Giovanni Battista in Kerč (X-XIV century). Monumental art in Ukraine developed with the rise of the power of the Kijev principality (IX-XII centuries), when, especially in central-northern Ukraine, intense architectural activity took place, influenced by Byzantine art. Various churches of the sec. X-XI, a Greek cross with several domes, such as the church of Desjatina and the cathedral of Saint Sophia in Kijev, the Cathedral of the Transfiguration in Černigov. The painting is represented in Kijev by the mosaic decoration of Hagia Sophia and the frescoes in San Michele, of great grandeur and solemnity. The miniature of the century is also interesting. XI and the goldsmith works of the Kijev masters. In the sec. XII-XIII various local artistic schools developed, such as that of Galič, influenced by the Romanesque of Western Europe, and that of the Dnieper, characterized by the use of brick. With the Tatar invasion (13th century) and the threats of the Lithuanian and Polish feudal lords, in the 13th century XIV-XV in architecture the development of defensive works was accentuated; the ecclesiastical buildings also took on a defensive character (church-fortress in Sutkovcy, 15th-16th centuries).

According to globalsciencellc, the tradition of cross-in-square churches with a dome was maintained in Volhynia, Armenian and also Muslim mosques. During the sec. XIV-XVI miniature was widely distributed, which after the development of printing was replaced by woodcut. The fresco remained linked for a long time to the Byzantine tradition, while the production of icons acquired greater originality and became prevalent over time, supplanting wall decoration. In the sec. XVI, western Ukraine, under Polish rule, experienced sensitive Renaissance influences, notable especially in Lviv, where a local architectural school was developed. The annexation of Ukraine to the Russian Empire (1654) marked the clear prevalence of the dominant cultural currents, first in Moscow then in Petersburg. In the second half of the century. XVII new cities arose (Poltava, Harkov etc.) and an intense building activity developed. Beginning in 1730 , Baroque was introduced in all major monuments, thanks to both Russian (JG Schädel, AV Kvasov, JF Mičurin) and Ukrainian (IG Grigorovič-Barskij, SD Kovnir) architects. In western Ukraine, on the other hand, a Baroque of Roman-Austrian derivation dominated (Bučač town hall, Lviv cathedral, by B. Meretin). Wooden architecture was also widespread (Drogobyč, Poltava, Novomoskovsk), with churches with one or more domes, of a type quite close to the traditional one. The painting of this period, with a lively coloristic taste, managed to blend the popular tradition with new trends of Western derivation. With the end of the century. XVIII Ukrainian art was substantially inserted in the wider sphere of the Russian one and subsequently of the Soviet one without characteristics of specific originality.


The ancient oral tradition of bylyny, epic narrative poems, and of dumas, Cossack lyric ballads, has strongly influenced Ukrainian music whose popular origin derives directly from the art of wandering minstrels. Between the century XVI and the sec. XVII they traveled around the country telling the story and life through heroic gestures and deeds, to the sound of their kozba, instruments very similar to the lute. In the sec. XVIII the kozba were replaced by the bandura, a stringed instrument that in a short time spread to the point of becoming the symbol of Ukraine. Today the Ukrainian Bandura Choir of Kijev is famous all over the world, as well as Nikolaj Lisenko (1842-1912), composer, conductor and pianist. Born in the middle of the century. XIX, considered the father of Ukrainian classical music, abandoned his studies in natural sciences to devote himself to the collection, study and elaboration of ancient folk songs of Ukraine, thus contributing, thanks to this rediscovery of the ancient creative tradition of his country, to strengthen the demands of national revival. Prominent public figure, recognized master among Eastern European ethnomusicologists and composers, founded the Ukrainian National School of Music, and composed, among others, music for many narrative systems, such as that for the most important Ukrainian literary work: Kobzar, by T. Ševčenko. Ancient songs still very much alive today are those of the Christmas choirs, whose suggestive tradition includes two main groups: the koliadky, “candles”, typical of the eve and the shedrivky, “generous”, characteristic of the Epiphany.

Ukraine Arts and Music