A Look Into Ukraine’s World Famous Petrykivka Paintings

Culture, Ukraine

Petrykivka paintings are one of Ukraine’s famous cultural landmarks. A new exhibition held in Kyiv shows the secret of this Ukrainian traditional art.

Valentyna Deka’s whole life revolves around Petrykivka paintings. Deka even got her family involved in this unique Ukrainian paintings. The ornamental folk art is on the List of Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity since 2013.

“Ornaments first appeared on houses walls and then turned into a separate folk art form — the Petrykivka painting. Of course, we have two houses decorated using the Petrykivka style designs,” says Deka.

The birthplace of the world famous paintings is the village of Petrykivka.Valentyna is proud to call that same village her home:

“Among the 7,500 people living here, there are 2 painters, 17 award-winning artists, and more than 250 people who are currently learning the Petrykivka style painting.”

In the Polish village of Zalipie, dozens of houses have Petrykivka-style designs. The colorful floral ornaments are also considered to be a part of the country’s traditional heritage. The ethnographic museum of Tarnów has many of the designs on display.

“The city of Tarnów is not far from the Ukraine border. So, of course, they have very close relations. Poland and Ukraine are two different countries, but we have very similar art. Despite the different traditions, colors, and different patterns — they have similar designs. The art is also connected by the different artists’ inspiration, kindness, and sincerity,” says Svitlana Pakhlova, Manager of the Project.

A separate part of the exhibition showcases ceramics made by modern artists who have been influenced by Ukrainian traditions.

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