Heorhiy Narbut


Heorhiy Narbut

Heorhiy Narbut

Heorhiy Narbut (1886-1920) was a painter, graphic artist and illustrator born in the Chernihiv region of Ukraine. He studied in Munich and St. Petersburg, where he lived from 1909-1917 and gained fame as a designer of book covers and illustrator of books. He developed a keen interest in heraldry, designing a book on ‘Little Russian’ heraldry and the coats of arms of the Cossack hetman of ‘Little Russia’ (as Ukraine was labeled for some time by the Russian imperial regime). After the February 1917 revolution that overthrew Russian Emperor Nicholas II, Narbut returned to Ukraine and was appointed professor of the Ukrainian Academy of Arts, becoming its rector in February 1918. He laid the foundations for advanced art education in Ukraine and fostered the rebirth of the national style of Ukrainian art together with other contemporary Ukrainian artists, such as Vasyl Krychevsky. He created covers and graphics for post-revolutionary books and journals; graphic designs for the currency, postage stamps, seals and charters of the Ukrainian People’s Republic; and bookplates, drawings and illustrations incorporating Cossack, Ukrainian baroque, and folk motifs. One of his finest works after 1917 is considered to be his gouache frontispiece for a 1919 edition of Ivan Kotliarevsky’s Eneïda (Aeneid). He was the brother of poet Volodymyr Narbut. Heorhiy Narbut died in Kyiv from typhus.

Illustration for 'Eneida' by Ivan Kotliarevsky (1919)

Illustration for ‘Eneida’ by Ivan Kotliarevsky (1919)

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Project for the Seal of the Ukrainian People's Republic (1918)

Project for the Seal of the Ukrainian People’s Republic (1918)

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Illustration for 'The Crane and Heron. Bear' (1906)

Illustration for the fairy tale ‘The Crane and Heron. Bear’ (1906)

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Illustration for the Mizgir Mansion Fairy Tales (1910)

Illustration for the ‘Mansion. Mizgir.’ fairy tales (1910)

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Illustration for the book 'How the Mice Buried the Cat' by Zhukovsky (1910)

Illustration for the book ‘How the Mice Buried the Cat’ by Zhukovsky (1910)

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Cover design for 'Sun of Labor' (1919)

Cover design for ‘Sun of Labor’ (1919)

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Ukrainian postage stamps (1918)

Ukrainian postage stamps (1918)

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Design for the Seal of the Ukrainian Academy of Arts (1918)

Design for the Seal of the Ukrainian Academy of Arts (1918)

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Cover design for the journal 'Mystetstvo' (1920)

Cover design for the journal ‘Mystetstvo’ (1920)

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Illustration for 'Organ (Open Letter)' (1910)

Illustration for ‘Organ (Open Letter)’ (1910)

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Cover design for issue no. 1 of the journal 'Zori' (1919)

Cover design for issue no. 1 of the journal ‘Zori’ (1919)

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