Serhiy Ivanovych Vasylkivsky (1854-1917) was a prolific artist of the pre-revolutionary period who grew up in the Kharkiv region of eastern Ukraine. Strongly influenced by Ukrainian writers such as Ivan Kotlyarevsky, Taras Shevchenko and Mykola Gogol, he drew on folklore and Ukrainian culture for inspiration in his paintings. He studied at the St. Petersburg Academy of Fine Arts, where he was supervised by well-known Ukrainian landscape painters Volodymyr Orlovsky and Mykhailo Klodt. He was also influenced by the Barbizon School in Paris, which he visited in the 1880s. He eventually settled back in Kharkiv in 1888, and headed the architectural and art society there. A typical Vasylkivsky theme is an armed horse-mounted Zaporizhian Cossack in the Ukrainian steppes.