Petrykivka painting

Petrykivka painting - 1 Petrykivka painting - 2

Petrykivka painting is a short name of the element of intangible cultural heritage “Petrykivsky painting – Ukrainian decorative and ornamental painting of XIX – XXI centuries”, which was included to the National list of elements of intangible cultural heritage of Ukraine, as well as to the Representative list of intangible cultural heritage.

Petrykivka painting got its name from the name of the village Petrykivka (Dnipropetrovsk region), founded in 1772 on the bank of the Chaplynka River by Hetman Petro Kalnyshevsky.

The traditions of decorative painting of the interior of the peasant huts created the artistic basis of Petrykivka style. Decorative murals were widespread in many regions of Ukraine. In the Dnipropetrovsk region, there was a tradition to decorate the walls of the houses with rich floral ornaments. The murals in the village of Petrykivka stand out for their specific art qualities.

Drawings on the walls of the houses were not durable. Before the important religious holidays, people whitewashed the walls of their homes and re-applied them with new flower ornaments. Women mainly did this type of arts and crafts. In the village, there was one or two folk artists, who had special skills in painting. The neighbors often invited those artists to decorate their homes. Gradually, the specialists were distinguished, for whom the decorative painting turned into the craft.

The next stage in the development of decorative painting was the production of decorative compositions on paper (so-called “malovky”). Malovky copied the very murals and were glued to the walls in accordance with the rules of dwellings` decoration. Such paintings were in great demand at the local markets and fairs. The village of Petrykivka was a major trading center, where annual fairs took place. There, among the other items, the decorative paintings on paper were sold.

Petrykivka painting is traditionally dominated by floral motifs. The floral ornament depicts various flowers (asters, dahlias, roses and chamomile) and fruits, which are combined in fantasy compositions of plants and shrubs. Sometimes floral patterns are combined with the images of people, birds and animals.

Ornamental compositions were done exclusively on white background, but today artists often use a colored background. Earlier, folk artists used natural paints (juices and decoctions of plants). In 20th century, they were gradually replaced by aniline dyes. In the postwar period, gouache and watercolor became the common dyes in Petrykivka painting.

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