Vasyl Krychevsky was an outstanding Ukrainian architect, artist, scholar, and teacher. His contribution to the devefopment of modern Ukrainian art and culture was great and diverse. He seemed to have come to us from the Renaissance Age.
Krychevsky developed an architectural style called the Ukrainian Modern; he was a subtle and prolific landscape painter; he set a new trend in the art of book design in Ukraine. He was a fine designer of theatrical settings; he was the art director of Alexander Dovzhenko’s famous film Zvenigora. Krychevsky was afso a scholar, an expert on Ukrainian folk arts and folk architecture: he studied ethnography and archeology. He was a professor of the Ukrainian State Academy of Arts and of various art institutes. Taking his inspiration from the Ukrainian folk arts, Krychevsky designed many articles of applied arts.
Krychevsky first gained public recognition in 1903 when he won the architectural competition to build the Poltava Zemstvo Building (now the Poltava Regional Studies Museum). His design of the building was based on the traditions of Ukrainian folk architecture. As a painter, he created a total of about 3000 paintings, drawings, ornamental designs, bookcovers. His work was influenced by French impressionism.
It was at the request of President Mykhailo Hrushevsky that Krychevsky designed the state emblems and seals of the Ukrainian People’s Republic as well as the Republic’s bank notes. Krychevsky was a collector and student of Ukrainian folk art, and promoted such handicrafts among common people.
From 1907 to 1910, Krychevsky designed sets and costumes for over 15 plays and operas including Mykhailo Starytsky’s Bohdan Khmelnytsky and Bedrich Smetana’s The Bartered Bride. From 1917–18 he worked with the Ukrainian National Theater.