Yuriy Nikitin Exhibition: Sacred Paintings in Ukraine


Icon painter Yuriy Nikitin’s exhibition of paintings opened in Zhytomyr, featuring almost 40 years of collaboration with Christian denominations. Nikitin has the ability to recreate an era. This exhibition is a testament to the artist’s unique ability to convey spirituality and inner energy through his works.

The Exhibition

The House of Ukrainian Culture hosts the exhibition, showcasing Nikitin’s ability to experiment while respecting tradition and canons. The exhibition presents about 30 works of easel painting and iconography, including Meluzina, Cossack Cherub, Pelican, Resurrection, Heart of Jesus, Ostroh Intercession, Archangel Michael and more. Archangel Michael is considered to be the patron saint of Kyiv and the commander-in-chief of the heavenly army, which includes numerous angels, archangels, cherubim and seraphim.

Sacred Space

Painter’s ability to recreate an era is demonstrated in his painting “Ostroh Mamai”, painted in the style of the 18th century Ostroh Iconography Workshop. Nikitin’s sacred space paintings hold deep symbolic meaning. His painting, “Pelican,” depicts Jesus Christ as a bird symbolizing self-sacrifice. Maryna Khadatova, a lecturer at the History Department of the ZhSU, praises Nikitin’s sacred space paintings, calling them breathtakingly impressive and spiritually profound.

“Nikitin and I visited museums and foundations to get a feel for the era. The next morning I arrived, and the painting was ready, fully stylized for that era…” – says art historian Mykola Bendiuk.

Nikitin’s Contribution

In 2017, Nikitin created the Icon of the Intercession of the Virgin Mary. The icon was consecrated in St. Michael’s Golden-Domed Cathedral. The miraculous Icon of Vyshhorod (Volodymyr) gathers people for an annual pilgrimage. Nikitin calls his paintings the result of creating a new iconography and his contribution to the future Victory.

Paintings by Yuriy Nikitin “Prayer for Protection” is on display at the House of Ukrainian Culture until May 18, admission is free.

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