Derehus, Mykhailo

Image - Mykhailo Derehus Image - Mykhailo Derehus: A Cossack on Horse. Image - Mykhailo Derehus: The KamianetsPodilskyi Fortress. Image - Mykhailo Derehus: Listening to Kobzar Singing.

Derehus, Mykhailo [Дерегус, Михайло], b 5 December 1904 in the village of Vesele, Kharkiv gubernia, 31 July 1997. Painter, graphic artist. Derehus graduated from the Kharkiv Art Institute and then lectured there in 1932-41 and in 1944-50. After 1958 he was a corresponding member of the USSR Academy of Arts. Derehus, who matured in a period of experimentation in the 1920s, tried various techniques and dealt with different themes. He was criticized for his expressionist lithographs in the 1936 edition of Ivan Kotliarevsky’s Eneïda (The Aeneid) and for the ‘nationalism’ of a series of his works dedicated to Bohdan Khmelnytsky. Eventually, Derehus conformed to the officially approved way of treating the history of Ukraine and became one of the officials of the Union of Artists of Ukraine (he headed the Union in 1955–62). The following paintings are among his best-known works: The Rest (1932), The Trypillia Tragedy (1935), the cycle The Khmelnytsky Period (1945), Taras Bulba Leading the Host (1955), the triptych Duma about Cossack Holota (1960), The Idler (1961), and the triptych Steppes (1977). Among his graphic works the following are well known: Kateryna (1936–8); the cycles Along the Roads of Ukraine (1940–1), On the Paths of War (1943), and Ukrainian Folk Dumas and Historical Songs (1947–58); illustrations to the works of Ivan Kotliarevsky, Nikolai Gogol, Lesia Ukrainka (Lisova pisnia [Forest Song], 1950), Marko Vovchok (1958), and Natan Rybak’s Pereiaslavs'ka rada (The Council of Pereiaslav, 1948–53).

Vrona, I. Mykhailo Hordiiovych Derehus (Kyiv 1958)
Verba, I. M. Derehus. Oforty (Kyiv 1971)

[This article was updated in 2018.]

Image - Mykhailo Derehus: Marusia Bohuslavka (1947). Image - Mykhailo Derehus: Taras Bulba Leading the Host (1952).

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