Borovykovsky, Volodymyr [Боровиковський, Володимир; Borovykovs'kyj; Russian: Боровиковский, Владимир; Borovykovskyj], b 4 August 1757 in Myrhorod, Myrhorod regiment, Hetman state, d 18 April 1825 in Saint Petersburg. Iconographer and portrait painter, son of Luka Borovyk (d 1775) who was a Cossack fellow of the banner and an iconographer. Borovykovsky was trained in art by his father and uncle and then in 1788 went to study portrait painting under Dmytro H. Levytsky at the Saint Petersburg Academy of Arts. In 1793 he became an academician there. Until 1787 Borovykovsky lived and worked in Ukraine. During his career he painted many churches, icons, and iconostases, only some of which have been preserved: the icons of Christ (1784) and the Virgin Mary (1784 and 1787), now in Kyiv, the icon of SS Thomas and Basil (1770s, in Myrhorod), the iconostases and wall paintings in the village churches in Kybyntsi in the Poltava region and Ichnia in the Chernihiv region, several icons in the Church of Saint Catherine in Kherson, the religious painting King David (1785), now in Saint Petersburg, and the iconostasis in the Church of the Holy Protectress in the village of Romanivka in the Chernihiv region (1814–15). Borovykovsky’s religious art departed from the established norms of Byzantine iconography in the Russian Empire and tended towards a realistic approach.
Borovykovsky painted about 160 portraits, among them Ukrainian public figures, including the Poltava burgomaster P. Rudenko (1778), Vasyl Kapnist (1780), the wife of Oleksander Bezborodko with her daughters (Portrait of O. Bezborodko with her Daughters, 1803), Bishop M. Desnytsky, the mayor of Kyiv P. Borshchevsky (1816), Dmytro Troshchynsky (1819), and A. Rodzianko (1821). Among the large number of official portraits he painted are the full-figure portraits of Catherine II (Portrait of Catherine II, 1794) and Paul I (Portrait of Tsar Paul I, 1800), Prince A. Kurakin (Portrait of Prince Kurakin, 1799), and the Russian poets G. Derzhavin (Portrait of G. Dzezhavin, 1811) and Vasilii Zhukovsky. At the beginning of the 1790s Borovykovsky began to paint miniatures and portraits of women in the Ukrainian iconographic style. Adhering to the spirit of classicism, he promoted West European traditions through his art; in his later works he introduced the style of Sentimentalism and proto-Romanticism in painting. Like his teacher and mentor Dmytro H. Levytsky, Borovykovsky was an active Freemason and member of Saint Petersburg’s Masonic lodge. The largest number of Borovykovsky’s works can be found in the museums of Saint Petersburg and Moscow. In Ukraine they can be seen in the museums of Kyiv, Kharkiv, Odesa, Poltava, Dnipro, Kherson, and Simferopol. One of Borovykovsky’s paintings (Portrait of Countesses Elena and Aleksandra Kurakina, 1802) is in the permanent collection of the Louvre Museum in Paris and a few of his works are in the United States.
Shcherbakivs'kyi, D.; Ernst, F. Ukraïns'kyi portret: Vystavka ukraïns'koho portretu XVII–XX st. (Kyiv 1925)
Chukin, D. Borovykovs'kyi (Kharkiv 1931)
Mashkovtsev, N. Vladimir Lukich Borovikovskii. 1757–1825 (Moscow 1950)
Alekseeva, T. Borovikovskii (Moscow 1960)
Bilets'kyi, P. Ukraïns'kyi portretnyi zhyvopys XVII–XVIII st. (Kyiv 1969)
Alekseeva, T. Vladimir Lukich Borovikovskii i russkaia kul'tura na rubezhe 18-19 vekov (Moscow 1975)
[This article originally appeared in the Encyclopedia of Ukraine, vol. 1 (1984).]