Levytsky, Dmytro H.

Image - Hryhorii K. Levytsky (portrait by Dmytro H. Levytsky). Image - Dmytro H. Levytsky: Portrait of P. Demidov (1773). Image - Dmytro H. Levytsky: Portrait of A. Kokrinov (1769). Image - Dmytro H. Levytsky: Portrait of A. Lanskoi (1782).

Levytsky, Dmytro H. [Левицький, Дмитро; Levyc’kyj] (Russian: Levitsky, Dmitrii), b 1735 in Kyiv, d 16 April 1822 in Saint Petersburg. The most prominent portraitist of the classicist era in the Russian Empire. He acquired his basic training from his father, Hryhorii K. Levytsky, and helped him do engravings for the Kyivan Cave Monastery Press. In 1753–6 he helped his father and Aleksii Antropov decorate Saint Andrew's Church in Kyiv. From 1758 to 1761 he worked in Saint Petersburg, where he likely studied with Antropov, L.-J.-F. Lagrené, and G. Valeriani. From 1762, while living in Moscow he was a portraitist in great demand among the Russian aristocracy. He moved to Saint Petersburg in 1769, and he won the highest award at the summer exhibition in 1770 held by the Saint Petersburg Academy of Arts and was elected a member of the academy. A teacher of portraiture at the academy (1771–88), he retired to Ukraine in 1788, but in 1795 he returned to Saint Petersburg to become portraitist at the imperial court.

Building on the baroque, classicism, and Western European traditions, Levytsky created a school of portrait painting. His portraits reveal his expert knowledge of drawing, composition, color, and the appropriate gesture. He executed over 100 portraits, including ones of Empress Catherine II (Portrait of Catherine II, 1783), other members of the Russian imperial family, King Stanislaus I Leszczyński, the French encyclopedist D. Diderot (now in the Geneva Museum of Art and History), his own father, brother, and daughter (Portrait of the Artist's Daughter), and six of the first graduates of the Smolny Institute for aristocrats' daughters. Many Ukrainian (eg, L. Myrypolsky, S. Maiatsky, L. Kalynovsky) and Russian portraitists studied with Levytsky at the academy, and his works influenced Volodymyr Borovykovsky.

Horlenko, V. Dmytro Levyts’kyi (Poltava 1919)
Chukin, I. Dmytro Levyts’kyi (Kharkiv 1930)
Moleva, N.M. Dmitrii Grigor’evich Levitskii (Moscow 1980)
Iablonskaia, T. (comp). Levitskii (Moscow 1985)

Sofiia Yaniv

[This article originally appeared in the Encyclopedia of Ukraine, vol. 3 (1993).]

Image - Dmytro H. Levytsky: Portrait of U. Mniszek (1782). Image - Dmytro H. Levytsky: Portrait of Khruscheva and Khovanskaia (1773). Image - Dmytro H. Levytsky: Portrait of Rzhevskaia and Davidova (1772). Image - Dmytro H. Levytsky: Portrait of the Artist's Daughter. Image - Dmytro H. Levytsky: Portrait of Catherine II (1783). Image - Dmytro H. Levytsky: Portrait of Maria Diakova (1778). Image - Dmytro H. Levytsky: Portrait of Mariia Lvov (1781). Image - Dmytro H. Levytsky: Portrait of Nikolai Lvov (1789).

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