The paintings of the outstanding classic of the Ukrainian landscape are characterized by a warm lyrical mood, the richness of colors and the richness of the color palette.
Recently, the Kyiv City Council continued renaming a number of city toponyms, the names of which are associated with the Soviet Union, the Russian Federation and its satellites. In particular, the alley of the Russian artist Isaak Levitan, located in the historical area of Bagrynova Gora in the Holosiiv district, received a new name. It arose in the first half of the last century and had the name of Taras Shevchenko, but in 1955 it received the name of Levitan.
Therefore, it is natural that the street received a new name in honor of the outstanding Ukrainian artist, landscape painter, writer, art critic, one of the founders of the Ukrainian Academy of Arts, teacher of the Kyiv Institute of Theater Art Mykola Burachek (1871-1942).
“Bright painting, transparency, sunlight and general cheerfulness of perception, an active creative attitude to life and nature – these are the characteristic features that Burachek brought to Ukrainian art,” art critics note about his work.
Mykola Burachek was born on March 16, 1871 in the village of Letychiv in the Khmelnytskyi region. He studied at the Kamianets-Podilskyi gymnasium, where he mastered the basics of drawing under the guidance of his teacher, Ivan Vaskov.
At the age of 17, the young man entered the Kyiv University, but after failing to study, he returned to Kamianets-Podilskyi. There, with the support of his compatriots, he became an actor in a traveling theater troupe.
During his six years of acting, Mykola Burachek played many comic and characteristic roles, and also worked on the decorative design of performances. During this period, he also began attending Mykola Murashka’s school of painting in Kyiv, wrote articles in periodicals, and all this time made sketches, sketches and created his first paintings.
A meeting in Kyiv with the artist Jan Stanislavskyi was fateful for the novice artist. Impressed by the talent of his young colleague, he invites Mykola to study at the Krakow Academy of Arts, quite young, but modern and progressive in terms of teaching methods. In 1905-1910, Mykola Burachek obtained a higher education at the institution, and after completing his studies, he went to Paris.
First, the artist gains experience in the studio of Henri Matisse, then works under the guidance of Maurice Denis and Paul Sérusier at the Free Academy of Arts of Paul Ranson.
The artist himself mentioned that, having visited Paris and studied with various masters, he saw different approaches to the artistic solution of the picture, the works of the classics, in particular Velázquez and representatives of the Barbizon school, were closest to his heart.
In 1912, Mykola Burachek returned to his beloved city, Kyiv, where he actively joined the cultural and exhibition life of the city. Returning to his homeland, the artist devoted himself to creating images of Ukrainian nature. His early works, which were influenced by impressionism, are written freely and juicy.
The artist is also considered one of the founders of the Ukrainian Academy of Arts, and in 1918 became its first president.
In 1918-1921, he was a teacher at the Kyiv Institute of Theater Arts. From 1925, Mykola Burachek was the head of the Kharkiv Central Bureau of Arts. From 1925 to 1927, he was the director of the Kharkiv Art Technical College, and in 1925-1931 he taught at the Kharkiv Art Institute, from 1927 he was appointed to the position of professor.
Honored Artist of the Ukrainian SSR since 1936, Honored Artist of the Ukrainian SSR since 1941. Author of many art history articles and monographs.
One of his students, M. Deregus, recalled: “Mykola Hryhorovych’s delicacy and sensitive attitude towards young artists… He taught everything that painting consists of, but he did not teach anyone to imitate his mannerisms, he never imitated Burachek’s painting.”
From the mid-1930s, Mykola Burachek moved from impressionistic sketches painted en plein air to creating paintings that convey a generalized image of Ukrainian nature. At that time he also worked as a theater artist.
In the last decade of his life, Mykola Burachek set himself a special task – the study of the sky. “I love the sky very much,” said the artist. — For me, it is the basis of the tonality of the entire picture, it must live together with the land, which stands out against its background with its forms, objects, plants. I fight over the sky, I search for its trembling shades, the majesty of the clouds, the transparency and depth of the sky…”.
According to art critics, Mykola Burachek is an outstanding landscape master. At each stage, the nature of his paintings changes, depending on the events of the artist’s life. They appear very bright when life brings severe trials, and are replaced by quieter, lyrical ones. His paintings together with the paintings of Oleksandr Murashko form the latest era in the art of the 20th century.