Numerous visitors of this museum, a hallmark of Volyn, can only see a fraction of sacral art works from its collection because this establishment simply lacks exposition areas. In August of this year, it will be 25 years since the museum was opened, and it was decided to mark this date not only with new exhibitions and a traditional conference that usually gathers academics from Ukraine, Poland, Belarus, (and, until recently, Russia), but also with such interesting projects as “Icon of the Month: a Museum Depository Piece.” Spectators will be able to see the artworks of the 17th-19th-century Volhynian painters, which have never been displayed before.
In January the museum exhibited “St. Basil the Great,” a sacred image of the first half of the 19th century. The icon came from the church of Our Lady of Kazan Icon in Butsyn, Stara Vyzhivka raion. The icon by an unknown Volhynian painter presents a well-known iconographic pattern: the saint is depicted full size in hierarchal vestments. It is written next to the figure against the dark background: “Saint Basil the Great, the Hierarch of Cappadocia.” We can also see the gift inscription in the lower left corner: “This northern gate was made by Servant of God Maria Kalyshykha,” which means that it was intended to be installed in the northern diaconal gate.
Illustration courtesy of the author
Tetiana Yelisieieva, director of the Volhynian Icon Museum, says that every icon, to be displayed monthly, deserves attention and admiration. But she, a true expert, looks forward to the exhibition of the icon “Unfading Blossom” now being restored by Anatolii Kvasiuk. “It is an 18th-century baroque masterpiece. There are not many icons made on such a high professional level in Ukraine,” she says.