Unique exposition tells the story of the legacy of the mature master and the stages of creative development of his students. It features over 50 paintings and archive documents. In order to make an exposition that would be interesting to the audience, materials from various sources have been gathered. Therefore, it is safe to say that this exhibition project is an example of museums collaboration. Paintings were provided by the National Art Museum of Ukraine, photos and documents – by the Central State Archive Museum of Literature and Arts of Ukraine. Visitors have the rare opportunity to see rare materials from private archive of Mykola Murashko, Ivan Izhakevych, Ivan Seleznev, Serhii Kostenko, Mykola Pymonenko, Fotii Krasytsky, Hryhorii Svetlytsky, and other students of Kyiv Art School of Mykola Murashko. The peculiarity of the exhibition is that it offers the audience different perspectives at the great master and his students.
In order to fully appreciate the art of the classic of Ukrainian art, we should remember some facts from his life. Mykola Murashko graduated from the Saint Petersburg Academy of Arts, he was one of the most famous followers of the “Wanderers,” famous painter and teacher. He gained considerable teaching experience first in teaching at the First Boy’s School and then in a real school, in 1875 he founded his own Kyiv Art School.
Exhibits presented at “Khlibnia” gallery are samples of historical painting, portraits and landscapes by Murashko and his students – in many art works the impact of the master’s manner is easily traceable. However, the documentary archive suggests that Murashko himself thought that he failed to bring out a new star of great magnitude.
Murashko had his first classes as a teacher in a small apartment at Mykhailivska Street, but after a while he asked the famous Kyiv patron Ivan Tereshchenko for assistance and received 300 rubles for the needs of the school and 200 rubles of annual allowance. Sofia Tarnovsky, wife of the famous collector of Ukrainian antiques Vasyl Tarnovsky Jr., suggested a suitable spacious classroom. In September of 1876 Murashko had his first class and the same year the school received 300 rubles of annual subsidies and moved to the first floor of the City Council. Thanks to the enthusiasm of Murashko and with the help of the professor Adrian Prakhov the school got its own collection of paintings, including works by Ivan Shishkin, Vasilii Palenov, Alexandr Briullov, Konstantin Makovsky, Vladimir Orlovsky, Ilya Repin, Grigorii Miasoedov, Konstantin Savitsky, Valentin Serov, and others. Murashko invested much of his time and energy in this project of his and therefore he fostered the ability of each student of the school with great care and tact. Today we can appreciate the fruit of their work by visiting the exhibition.
The most important stage for the students of Murashko Art School was their work during the restoration of the frescoes of Saint Cyril’s Church, which is now the part of the Saint Sophia Reserve. The staff of the “Saint Cyril’s Church” Museum prepared a multimedia presentation for the exhibition in “Khlibnia,” where they showed the fragments of those frescoes that were restored by Izhakevych, Seleznev, Kostenko, Pymonenko, and other students, as well as the interesting photographs and copies of documents telling about the activities of the Kyiv Art School of Mykola Murashko.
Exhibition “Mykola Murahsko and His Students” is open at Khlibnia art gallery until March 25.
Illustrations provided by the organizers of the exhibition