Illia, Master

Image - Engraving of the plan of the Far Caves of the Kyivan Cave Monastery by the engraver Illia (in a book printed by the Kyivan Cave Monastery Press in 1661). Image - Master Illia: SS Vasylii and Fedir of the Caves (in Patericon 1661). Image - Master Illia: Saint Erasmus (in Patericon 1661). Image - A page from Mech dukhovnyi by Lazar Baranovych (engravings by Mater Illia) (1666).

Illia, Master [Ілля; Illja] (aka Iliia), b and d ? A 17th-century wood engraver. A monk at Saint Onuphrius's Monastery, in the 1630s he worked as an engraver in Lviv at the Lviv Dormition Brotherhood Press. From 1640 to about 1680 he worked at the Kyivan Cave Monastery Press. During his career he produced about 600 woodcut engravings for illustrations, title pages, headpieces, and prints. His work decorated such books as the Antolohion (Lviv 1638, 1643); the Apostolos (Lviv 1639, 1654); the Octoechos (Lviv 1640); the Triodion (Kyiv 1640, 1648); the Pentecostarion (Lviv 1642); the Psalter (Kyiv 1644); the Octoechos (Lviv 1644); the Euchologion of Petro Mohyla (Kyiv 1646), one of the finest examples of Ukrainian book design of the time; the Nomocanon (Lviv 1646); the Kyivan Cave Patericon (Kyiv 1661, 1678); and Lazar Baranovych's Mech dukhovnyi (The Spiritual Sword, 1666) and Antin Radyvylovsky's Ohorodok Mariï Bohorodytsi (The Garden of Mary, the Mother of God, 1676). Two albums of his woodcuts were published in Kyiv in the 1640s, and a collection of 132 of his biblical illustrations appeared at the end of the 17th century. Illia was a master of the thematic woodcut. His illustrations depict daily life, landscapes, buildings, and famous monks of the Kyivan Cave Monastery.

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

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