Yakutovych, Heorhii

Image - Heorhii Yakutovych: Arkan (1960). Image - Heorhii Yakutovych: The Rafters (lithograph, 1970s). Image - Heorhii Yakutovych: Christmas. Image - Heorhii Yakutovych's engraving (1985).

Yakutovych, Heorhii (Yurii) [Якутович, Георгій (Юрій); Jakutovyč, Heorhij], b 14 February 1930 in Kyiv, d 5 September 2000 in Kyiv. Graphic artist; corresponding member of the USSR (now Russian) Academy of Arts from 1983. He studied at the Kyiv State Art Institute (1948–54) under Vasyl Kasiian and Ilarion Pleshchynsky and taught there in 1954–7 and 1961–2. A representative of the shistdesiatnyky generation, Yakutovych was a master of different graphic techniques from woodcut to metal engraving, he blended realism with formal experimentation to create a thoroughly modernist impression. The influence of Hutsul folk art is evident in his use of geometric forms. Yakutovych illustrated editions of Mykhailo Kotsiubynsky's novels Fata morgana (1957) and Tini zabutykh predkiv (Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors, 1966), Ivan Kocherha's plays Iaroslav Mudryi (Yaroslav the Wise) and Svichchyne vesillia (Svichka's Wedding, 1962), Ivan Franko's novel Zakhar Berkut (1972), the epic Slovo o polku Ihorevi (The Tale of Ihor's Campaign, 1977), Vasyl Stefanyk's story collection Klenovi lystky (The Maple Leaves, 1978), the epic Povist’ vremennykh lit (The Tale of Bygone Years, 1981), and Nikolai Gogol's Vii (1985). Many of his prints have been widely reproduced. They include the series ‘Ancient Ukrainian Music’ (1957), ‘Ivan Vyshensky’ (1959), ‘Oleh Horyslavych’ (1959), and ‘Arkan’ (1960) and two series of postcards on folk-song themes (1960, 1963). Yakutovych served as artistic consultant for the films Tini zabutykh predkiv (Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors, 1965; director, Serhii Paradzhanov) and Zakhar Berkut (1971; director, Leonid Osyka). Books about Yakutovych have been written by Yu. Belichko (1968) in Ukrainian and I. Verba (1970) and Lidiia Popova (1988) in Russian.

Wasyl Wytwycky

[This article originally appeared in the Encyclopedia of Ukraine, vol. 5 (1993).]

Image - Heorhii Yakutovych: an engraving based on the duma Three Brothers' Flight from Azov. Image - Heorhii Yakutovych's engraving (1986). Image - Slovo o polku Ihorevi (book illustration by Heorhii Yakutovych).

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