Onatsky, Nykanor

Onatsky, Nykanor [Онацький, Никанор; Onac'kyj], b 9 January 1875 in Khomenkove, Hadiach county, Poltava gubernia, d 23 November 1937 in Poltava. Painter and poet. After studying at the Odesa Art School (1900–5) and under Ilia Repin at the Higher Art School of the Saint Petersburg Academy of Arts (1905) he taught painting in gymnasiums in Lebedyn (1906–13) and Sumy. He founded and directed the Sumy Art Museum (1920–33) and ran the Poltava Regional Studies Museum (1933–7). In 1929 he joined the Association of Artists of Red Ukraine. His colorful realist paintings consist mostly of landscapes (eg, Moonlit Night [1908], Sunflowers [1916], and Haystacks [1933]) and still lifes (eg, Lilacs [1935]). His poetry was published in the paper Ridnyi krai and in miscellanies, such as Ternovyi vinok (Wreath of Thorns, 1908), Z nevoli (1908), and Ukraïns’ka muza (Ukrainian Muse, 1908). He also wrote several plays and brochures on Mezhyhiria faience (see Mezhyhiria Faience Factory) and Ukrainian art glass and porcelain. Onatsky was arrested by the NKVD in 1934 and again in 1935 and 1937. He was accused of ‘counterrevolutionary activities’ and executed.

[This article was updated in 2020.]

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