« 2020. № 1 (151)

The Ethnology Notebooks. 2020. № 1 (151), 93—108






Candidate of Sciences in Art Studies,

Senior Researcher

Museum of Ethnography and Crafts

Institute of Ethnology

National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine,

15, Svobody Avenue, 79000, Lviv, Ukraine,

Contacts: e-mail:

Abstract. The article deals with the sacral earthenware that was produced on the factory of the famous architect, professor of Lviv Polytechnic, manufacturer and philanthropist Ivan Levynskyy (1851–1919), whose 100th death anniversary we commemorated in 2019.

The given question seems rather topical, since it has never been examined before in a separate paper. The aim of this article is to carry out an art critical research into the earthenware used for church and ritual purposes of the late 19th – early 20th cc. from Ivan Levynskyy’s factory. In particular, the paper will concentrate on the typology of earthenware items, their shapes and dйcor. The object of our research is manufactured earthenware which is kept in Lviv museums, while the object of the paper includes sacral functions, Christian motives and images on ceramics. The article is methodologically based on the principles of systematicity, historism and comparativism, applying cultural and historical as well as comparative and typological methods.

Ivan Levynskyy brought up a wide row of Ukrainian and Polish architects and builders who introduced fresh Secession notes into the “architectural face” of not only Lviv, but also whole Halychyna in the late 19th – early 20th cc. In exteriors and interiors of churches, houses of famous people, buildings of various societies, health retreats, People’s Halls and hospitals the architects skillfully used metal railing, majolica tiles or terracotta panels, relief compositions, sculptures, ornamental bricks and coloured roof tiles. All the above-mentioned elements made every building outstanding and recognizable among architectural works by other authors.

Among the earthenware that was manufactured on the factory, we can single out early 20th c. plates with the motive of a cross or combination of crosses, with the image of St. Nicholas, a plaque «Jesus Christ», some icon cases (they were made of wood, majolica tiles and images of Jesus Christ with the angels), as well as earthenware icons with the plot “Coronation of Virgin Mary” (three icons by Oleksandr Lushpynskyy survived). The author has also characterized artistic specificity of a handheld terracotta cross, communion plates, altar and floor-standing candlesticks (many of them were made by Mykhaylo Lukiyanovych), as well as vases decorated with painted Christian symbols. A number of similar items were also produced by certain Ukrainian potters of the late 19th – early 20th cc., ceramic schools and manufactures. Apart from that, I. Levynskyy’s factory produced some items for Easter rituals, namely Easter eggs, only four of which survived. All the items of religious nature that were produced on Ivan Levynskyy’s factory reflect an outstanding style of talented authors and a high quality of the materials.

Keywords: Ivan Levynskyy, factory, earthenware, icon case, icon, cross, communion plate, candlestick, Easter egg.

Received 20.01.2020


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