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Where there is no law, but every man does what is right in his own eyes, there is the least of real liberty
Henry M. Robert

Nikolai Gogol mystery in Kyiv

The Russian Science and Culture Center is hosting an exhibition of the famous artist Serhii Yakutovych’s works and Gogol’s books from the Archpriest Anatolii Zatovsky’s private collection
17 April, 2013 - 16:22
GOGOL’S WORKS AND LIFE OCCUPY AN IMPORTANT PLACE IN YAKUTOVYCH’S WORKS / Photo replica by Ruslan KANIUKA, The Day

The exhibition is dedicated to the 1,150th anniversary of Slavic writing and 1,025th anniversary of the baptism of Rus’. At the opening ceremony, the head of the Federal Agency for the Commonwealth of Independent States, Compatriots Living Abroad and International Humanitarian Cooperation (Rossotrudnichestvo)’s mission Konstantin Vorobyov said that “Gogol’s works reflect the spiritual unity of the Russian and Ukrainian peoples. Ethnicity is not that important for a genius whose talent, conviction, and worldview transcend all usual limits. We are proud and delighted that Gogol managed to combine in his works in a miraculous way love for Ukraine and love for Russia.”

Gogol’s works and life occupy an important place in Serhii Yakutovych’s works. Let us recall that the artist illustrated the writer’s Evenings on a Farm near Dikanka, Mirgorod and all his standalone novellas for the Lybid Publishers’ editions. The latter achieved great fame among Gogol fans both in Ukraine and abroad. In addition, the artist published illustrations for Taras Bulba as a separate book.

“Reading Gogol, illustrating his works, looking at him – this is happiness, because Gogol is an indestructible pillar of our culture, a man who stood up and spoke in Russian ... about Ukraine to the whole world! And the whole world has come to know Taras Bulba and May Night. Gogol’s works are both fantastic and totally realistic,” Yakutovych says.

The artist painted 40 portraits of the great writer. He was the artistic director for Vladimir Bortko’s Taras Bulba movie, creating over 1,000 designs of scenery, mise en scenes, costumes, makeup, and props. In addition, Yakutovych acted as the artistic director of another landmark movie, Rostislav Plakhov-Modestov’s Gogol: Paradise Lost. He created the scenery, installations and designs for computer animation.

Also on display at the exhibition are about 100 books, some of them rare, from the Archpriest Anatolii Zatovsky’s personal library. Father Anatolii has been collecting Gogol’s works for more than 20 years. His collection includes the writer’s Complete Works in 17 volumes, published by the Bohuslav Charity Foundation in commemoration of Gogol’s 200th anniversary. By the way, this exclusive edition’s publishers have used all the income from it to fund construction of a spiritual education center and retirement home near St. Macarius Church.

The exhibition was organized by the Rossotrudnichestvo’s mission in Ukraine with support from the Ministry of Culture of Ukraine, the State Culture Promotion Agency, and the Bohuslav Charity Foundation. The exhibition will run till April 20.

By Alisa ANTONENKO
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