On Ukrainian triptych work called “Life”

Mariam Naiem

I want to share with you the artwork of the Ukrainian artist Fedir Krychevsky (1879 – 1947). This is his most known triptych work called “Life.” For me, this war led to a different way of looking at this artwork 👇

I used to pay attention only to the first painting called “Love” most of the time. It was the most familiar: I know exactly what the girl in the picture feels. The other two paintings were incomprehensible to me. I did not understand what the artist wanted to convey.

The second painting is called “Family.” I didn’t understand why there was so much tragedy in it, because the family is something warm and joyful, right? The war once again emphasized how in this love for the family there is an enormous fear of losing them.

The third painting is called the “Return”. Now I know what it is about: hope and anticipation that finally get materialized, about the moment when it is possible to hug those who were far away, and about the realization that it will never be as before.

Some information about the artist: Fedir Krychevsky was an early Ukrainian modernist painter. He was one of the founders and a rector of the Ukrainian State Academy of Arts. He remained in Kyiv at the onset of the Second World War during the German occupation.

However, Krychevsky was arrested by the NKVD as a collaborator, but his interrogations have found nothing. He was stripped of all his titles and honors and sent to internal exile to the village of Irpin near Kyiv, where he died of starvation during the famine in 1947.