Petrykivka Painting Style Heart And Soul Of Ukrainian Folk Art

Petrykivka Painting Style Heart And Soul Of Ukrainian Folk Art

Petrykivka Painting Style Heart And Soul Of Ukrainian Folk Art


Ukraine traditional decorative folk painting is called Petrykivka Painting Style after the village of Petrykivka located along the Dnipro River in South Central Ukraine. It is considered to be the heart and soul of the nation dating from ​the 18th Century ​when times were quite different than in the modern 21st Century.

The villagers of Petrykivka incorporated its new Petrykivka painting style art to set itself apart from the other villages by painting bright colorful murals on the outside of their houses, around the windows and doors that gave special ornamentation to their homes they believed would protect and defend the people living in the village with a magical mythological power that would help to create a cottage industry and become a marketing hub for seasonal markets where people from all areas would come to buy and enjoy their Petrykivka style arts and crafts.

Petrykivka painting style modern house Stativa-Zharko
Petrykivka painting style modern house Stativa-Zharko

The magical mythology power of the Petrykivka painting style painting that was done on the outside of houses may have led to the creation of a vibrant cottage industry in Petrykivka. At the beginning of the 19th Century because of the flourishing farming sector villagers started to be crafters of dining and kitchen furniture. The inside of the home became the new mecca for artisans and handcrafters to use the Ukrainian decorative Petrykivka painting style in their dining and kitchen furniture.

With the creation of better brushes, tools, and oil-based paints it allowed for brighter colors and to be able to paint on many different materials like wood, leather, metal, fine porcelain, glass, and other surfaces. The Petrykivka painting style became popular on all kinds of products. On walls, mirrors, stoves, furniture, wedding chests, decorative plates for wall displays, jewelry, souvenirs, boxes, and utensils.

Petrykivka painting style on glass
Petrykivka painting style on glass

The different kinds of decor that could be developed seemed limitless, as artisans continued stretching their imagination by using more and more of the layers of the onion to produce their magical fantasies of different imagery of flowers, plants, matching firebirds, animals, people, and even berries painted using the tips of the fingers.

The Petrykivka painting style may seem simplistic at first glance. However, the intrinsically detailed use of a simple onion as the focal point is amazing how the artist peels back its abstract layering into ornamental designs of flowers, landscapes, folklife, fairy tales, and many others are painted on such items as pysanky eggs, mouth blown glass Christmas ornaments, wall plates and plaques that are coveted today by art lovers and collectors around the world.

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