Petrykivka

Petrykivka painting is a phenomenon of the Ukrainian ornamental folk art. It is inscribed in the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO.

The name Petrykivka comes from the village Petrykivka in Ukraine. Petrykivka painting style is known since XVII century when it was traditionally used to decorate living quarters, household belongings and musical instruments.

Petrykivka painting is traditionally presented in abstract shapes of flowers either fantastic or real ones. The traditional imagery is most commonly combined with depiction of fictional birds such as phoenix or firebird which represent harmony and happiness. Petrykivka art is rich in symbolism. In folk belief, the paintings protect people from sorrow.

Petrykivka painting is two dimensional, flat by design. Animals are depicted in profile. Flowers are commonly shown head-on. Pictorial elements are depicted using a single brush stroke. It is worth to mention that Petrykivka artists prefer not to use sketches and measuring tools.

Most traditional Petrykivka paintings are created on white background since historically pictures were made on white walls. Сontemporary Petrykivka artists are free to use various background colors though.

Petrykivka decorative painting continues to develop as a modern art form. Contemporary Petrykivka artists create original paintings by adding new ornamental elements, using variety of colors and thereby transferring, renewing and enhancing traditional Petrykivka.