Murashko, Oleksander [Мурашко, Олександер; Muraško], b 7 September 1875 in Kyiv, d 14 June 1919 in Kyiv. Painter. He studied at the Kyiv Drawing School (1891–4) and later, under Ilia Repin, at the Saint Petersburg Academy of Arts (1894–1900) where he was awarded the Academy’s gold medal in 1900 for his diploma painting Burial of a Kish Otaman. As part of his prize, he was sent to study in Paris (1902–4); later he also studied at the Munich Academy of Arts. He belonged to the New Society of Artists in Saint Petersburg and participated in its annual exhibitions (1904–14). In 1907 he settled in Kyiv, where he taught painting at the Kyiv Art School (1909–12) and at his own studio (1912–17). In 1909 he exhibited his canvases in Paris, Amsterdam, and at the international exhibition in Munich where his painting A Carousel (1906) was awarded the main prize. In 1910 two of his paintings, Sunday: Quiet Sadness (1909) and On a Terrace (1906) were exhibited at the international exhibition in Venice. Also in 1910, he had one-man exhibitions in Berlin, Köln, and Düsseldorf. From 1911 he exhibited with the Munich Sezession group. In 1916 he joined the Peredvizhniki society and became a founding member of the Kyiv Society of Artists. He was a cofounder of the Ukrainian State Academy of Arts in 1917 and served there as a professor and rector. Murashko's style evolved from the realism of the Peredvizhniki school into a vivid, colorful impressionism. His paintings and portraits have been praised by critics for their psychological depth. His well known works include, Girl with a Red Hat (1902–3) (1902–3), portraits of Hryhorii Tsyss (photo: portrait, late 1890s), T. Yazera (1901–4), Mykola I. Murashko (photo: (see: Portrait of an Old Teacher, 1904), and Jan Stanisławski (photo: portrait, 1906), Day at Rest (1911), By the Pond (1913), Peasant Family (1914), Washerwoman (1914), Flower Sellers (1917), and Woman with Nasturtiums (1918). Murashko established an international reputation and had a strong influence on the development of Ukrainian portraiture in the 20th century. He was murdered in Kyiv by unknown assailants.

Kataloh posmertnoï vystavky kartyn prof. Ukraïns'koï akademiï mystetstv Oleksandra Oleksandrovycha Murashka (1875–1919), ed with intro by Fedir Ernst (Kyiv 1923)
Shpakov, A. Oleksandr Oleksandrovych Murashko (Kyiv 1959)
Chlenova, L. (ed). Oleksandr Murashko (Kyiv 1980)
Zhbankova, O. (ed). Oleksandr Murashko: Tvory z kolektsiï Natsional'noho khudozhn'oho muzeiu Ukraïny (Kyiv 2000)

Marko Robert Stech

[This article was updated in 2008.]

Encyclopedia of Ukraine