Kurylas, Osyp [Курилас, Осип], b 7 August 1870 in Shchyrets, Lviv county, Galicia, d 25 June 1951 in Lviv. Painter and graphic artist. A graduate of the Lviv Industrial Design School (1890) and the Cracow Academy of Fine Art (1900), he specialized in genre painting and portraiture. He did portraits of Taras Shevchenko (1918), Metropolitan Andrei Sheptytsky, Prince Volodymyr the Great, Prof Yavorsky, his wife (1918), and Volodymyr Shukhevych, and a self-portrait. Many of his paintings depict the Hutsuls in their everyday life: A Hutsul Pair (1937), Blahodatka Village, View of Chernivtsi, Wooden Church in Zhyravka, Hutsuls Reading a Newspaper (1945), Woodsmen (1947), and The Homeless. He also illustrated children's books such as Pryhody Iurchyka kucheriavoho (The Adventures of Curly-Haired Yurchyk), Kazka didusia Tarasa (Grandfather Taras's Story), and Hav na vakatsiiakh (Hav on Vacation); the children's magazine Svit dytyny; a number of Ukrainian readers and primers; and Vasyl Stefanyk’s novellas Klenovi lystky (Maple Leaves) and Novyna (News). His postcards on historical themes and drawings depicting the period of the wars for Ukraine’s independence were very popular. Kurylas was one of the pioneers of the new movement in Ukrainian religious painting. His icons of the Mother of God and Christ are distinctively Ukrainian. He designed many iconostases in Galicia. A. Viunyk (1963) and S. Kostiuk (1970) have written monographs on Kurylas.

Sviatoslav Hordynsky

[This article originally appeared in the Encyclopedia of Ukraine, vol. 2 (1988).]

Encyclopedia of Ukraine