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16 Jul. 2023


7 Ukrainian artists whose achievements and works are presented by russia as their own



7 Ukrainian artists whose achievements and works are presented by russia as their own

For many centuries, russia has been trying to destroy Ukraine's history and culture, while appropriating a large number of works of art and the individuals who created them. Learn more about the Ukrainian artists whom russia has russified and passed off as its own

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For centuries, russia has been trying to pass off many Ukrainian artists as its own. Moreover, it uses propaganda to convince the whole world of this. 

Ukrainian artists such as Ilya Repin, Ivan Aivazovsky, Kazimir Malevich and others are becoming victims of Russification. russian museums illegally claim collections of Ukrainian artists, calling them "russian national treasure." 

Read more about the world-famous talented artists who have been unfairly labeled "russian artists" in the history of culture.

Read more about popular Ukrainian artists whose works are known all over the world here.

Kazimir Malevich 

Malevich was the founder of Suprematism and an avant-garde artist. He was born in Kyiv and was closely associated with Ukrainian art. 

Kazimir repeatedly wrote that his artistic vision was shaped by the Ukrainian village. 

Mazanka huts served as a white background for the artist's paintings, such as geometric murals, stove patterns, plachta patterns, carpets, and embroidered shirts. Therefore, the dominant colors in Malevich's works are white, red, and black.

David Burliuk

Despite the fact that the russians appropriated the artist and called him the founder of "russian futurism," the artist self-identified as a "Tatar-Zaporizhzhia futurist." He was a member and organizer of the South Ukrainian literary group Gilea. 

Together with Oleksandra Ekster, he organized the exhibition Lanky in Kyiv and Zveno in moscow. These exhibitions played an important role in the development of avant-garde art. 

Ukraine, its nature, prominent personalities, and the Cossacks were often the subject of the artist's works. In Fragments of Futuristic Memories, Burliuk said: "Ukraine has been and remains my home. Here lie the bones of my ancestors, free Cossacks who fought for the victory of strength and freedom."

Oleksandra Exter

Oleksandra was born into a family of Jewish-Greek descent in what is now Poland, but spent most of her life in Kyiv. There she studied, created and organized art events.

The avant-garde artist was known for her combination of European culture and Ukrainian folk art.She spent time on ethnographic expeditions and studied Ukrainian embroidery, ornaments, and carpets. 

Her apartment and studio in Kyiv became a center of contemporary art where other artists and intellectuals gathered. She was nicknamed the "Amazon of the Ukrainian avant-garde" for her creativity and influence.

Ilya Repin 

Ilya Repin was born in Chukhiv, Kharkiv region. His paintings often depict Ukrainian landscapes and people's lives. 

In the museum in Kyiv, visitors can see such famous works as Young Women Among Cattle and St. Nicholas of Myra Saves Three Innocent Prisoners from Death Penalty. 

The Kharkiv museum houses the painting "Cossacks Writing a Letter to the Turkish Sultan." Repin's houses in Shum, Poltava, and Chuhuiv also have museums displaying his original works and personal belongings.

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Zinaida Serebriakova


Zinaida Serebriakova is a Ukrainian artist born in the Kharkiv region. She worked mainly in the genres of portraiture and still life. 

The artist played an important role in the history of the female nude on canvas. In her book 65 Ukrainian Masterpieces: Recognized and Veiled, she writes that the artist "was the first to introduce female nudity into genre painting as a natural state."

Zinaida acquired her artistic skills in the class of Ilya Repin. After spending a significant part of her life in Ukraine and russia, Zinaida later lived and worked in Paris, where Ukrainian motifs were constantly at the center of her paintings.

Ivan Aivazovsky 

Ukraine was one of the main themes of the artist's work. 

He painted the Ukrainian steppes and constantly returned to the theme of the Ukrainian Chumak.One of the most common images of the Ukrainian cycle is windmills, which are very popular in the Azov region. All of these themes are found in artists who until recently were considered russian.

Aivazovsky created more than 6,000 works. The Feodosia Art Gallery, named after the artist, is the largest museum in the country with a collection of 417 works by Aivazovsky. 

Arkhip Kuindzhi 

Archip Quindzhi was Greek by birth, but he painted Ukraine with great love. His native Mariupol, the enchanting Dnipro River, and many other Ukrainian landscapes are intertwined in his works. He called Night Dnipro the main work of his life. 

The Kuindzhi Museum in Mariupol had the largest collection of original paintings and reproductions, but on March 21, 2022, russian rockets destroyed the museum building. 

In addition to Kuindzhi's works, the museum also featured works by Aivazovsky, Yablonska, and other artists.

It is known that the original paintings "Red Sunset," "Autumn" and "Elbrus" were taken by the occupiers to a museum in occupied Donetsk.

Misappropriation of Ukrainian artworks

According to the Ukrainian authorities, russian troops looted or damaged more than 30 museums, including several in Kherson, as well as museums in occupied Mariupol and Melitopol. The russians stole more than 15,000 works of art and unique artifacts. 

Coins, weapons, Sarmatian jewelry, antique furniture, a collection of icons, paintings and the entire archaeological section of the exhibition, which form the basis of the museum collection, were taken from the local history museum. The regional archive and scientific library named after O. Honchar also suffered a sad fate. The occupation forces stole collections of documents and pre-revolutionary publications. 

During the occupation of Mariupol, russian troops destroyed and razed to the ground two museums, the local history museum and the art gallery. 

Works by Mariupol artist Arkhip Kuindzhi, known for his seascape paintings, and Crimean artist Ivan Aivazovsky and others were also stolen.

On the territory of modern Ukraine, there were ancient peoples with a developed culture and many important historical events took place. However, even today, russia continues to show its imperial arrogance by appropriating Ukrainian monuments. Read more about the 12 archaeological treasures that were taken by russia here.

Main photo: Unsplash

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