Sculptures of Ukraine’s genius to shine in France’s Louvre

Print version
Feb. 10, 2012, 12:35 a.m. | About Kyiv — by Alyona Zhuk

Sculptures by Ioann Heorh Pinzel that were displayed in Kyiv during a 2008 exhibition.

Alyona Zhuk

Alyona Zhuk was a reporter for Kyiv Post for more than two years until 2013. She rejoined as a staff writer in 2015. She can be reached at

Ukrainian sculpting genius Ioann Heorh Pinzel will go on show this autumn in France’s Louvre with a solo exhibition for more than three months.

The museum’s scouts have picked out 28 works of the 18th-century artist that will go on display between Nov. 12 of this year and Feb. 25, 2013. A delegation of technicians from Louvre came to Ukraine last week to present the plan of display that will take place in the Chapel of Louis XIV, and other technical details, according to Vira Stetsko, an art historian from the Ternopil Museum of Regional Studies.

The Louvre specialists picked out seven sculptures from her museum.

They also picked out three from the Prykarpattya Museum in Ivano-Frankivsk, and the Pinzel Museum in Lviv will lend the most masterpieces - 18.

Stetsko says it’s a lot, considering that most of Pinzel’s works were destroyed by the Soviet regime. There is little information left about the artist, too – yet enough for the Louvre specialists to know him and show initiative to organize a solo exhibit.

Art critics from the famous museum came to western Ukraine in 2009 to visit the places where Pinzel lived and worked, and offered to take some of his masterpieces to display in Louvre.

“All expenses will be covered by the Louvre, including packing, transportation and insurance,” says Mykhailo Deynega, head of the Prykarpattya Museum.

Deynega says he feels extremely proud that a Ukrainian artist has been noticed by the world, and will get even more famous thanks to the upcoming exposition.

Though the Louvre website contains no information about the exhibition so far, its press service confirmed that the exhibit is scheduled for this fall, promising more public information closer to the date of the exhibit.

One of the works of sculptor Ioann Heorh Pinzel, exhibited in Lviv on Aug. 14, 2007. (UNIAN)

Stetsko said that Pinzel came to Ukraine around the 1740s, surfacing in the court of Mykola Pototskyi, a famous patron of arts of his time. “No one knows where he came from, nor what his real name was,” she said.

Pinzel is believed to have studied somewhere in Europe, most likely in Italy. Stetsko says that “his works were heavily influenced by the Renaissance art.”

But bringing European traditions into Ukrainian sculpture is not what made Pinzel famous. He developed his own style that doesn’t have an official term, but can be described as flexible expressionism.

“Before him, sculptures were made in a canonical way, but his works look alive, capturing the dynamics of movement,”explains Stetsko.

Borys Voznytskyi, head of Lviv’s Pinzel Museum, says that Pinzel is by far the brightest representative of Ukraine’s 18th century baroque style. He has been compared to Michelangelo and Lorenzo Bernini, the famous sons of Italy.

Art historians say that public interest to Pinzel’s work has been rising lately. Three museums joined forces to promote him and the year 2007 as The Year of Pinzel, organizing multiple exhibitions and publishing photo albums of his masterpieces to tell the world about him.

His fame reached France, and even Japan.

“A crew from Japan’s channel NHK came to Ukraine last year to film a documentary about Pinzel,” says Stetsko. “It was released in October, though, unfortunately, Ukraine didn’t buy the screening rights.”

Pinzel’s sculptures will travel to Paris in October, and will be in display in their home museums until then.

Several of the masterpieces picked out by the Louvre have not been on permanent exposition before.

“There was not enough places, but we are thinking about reorganizing the exposition when they return from France, as more and more people show interest to Pinzel’s works,” says Stetsko.

Pinzel’s works can be viewed in the following museums:

Ternopil Museum of Regional Studies,
Ternopil,3, Maydan Mystectv, (0352)52 44 77

Prykarpattya Art Museum,
Ivano-Frankivsk, 8, Sheptyckogo, (03422) 440 38

Pinzel Museum,
Lviv, 2, Mytna ploshcha,
(032) 275 69 66

Louvre’s website:

Kyiv Post staff writer Alyona Zhuk can be reached at

Читайте об этом на
The Kyiv Post is hosting comments to foster lively public debate through the Disqus system. Criticism is fine, but stick to the issues. Comments that include profanity or personal attacks will be removed from the site. The Kyiv Post will ban flagrant violators. If you think that a comment or commentator should be banned, please flag the offending material.
comments powered by Disqus


© 1995–2015 Public Media

Web links to Kyiv Post material are allowed provided that they contain a URL hyperlink to the material and a maximum 500-character extract of the story. Otherwise, all materials contained on this site are protected by copyright law and may not be reproduced without the prior written permission of Public Media at
All information of the Interfax-Ukraine news agency placed on this web site is designed for internal use only. Its reproduction or distribution in any form is prohibited without a written permission of Interfax-Ukraine.