« 2020. № 5 (155)

The Ethnology Notebooks. 2020. № 5 (155), 1097—1107

UDK. 7.46.3:[27-544.8—051:27—312.3](477)”15/17″



Shyroka Oksana

  • PhD candidate,
  • Lviv National Academy of Arts,
  • Kubiiovycha Street, 38,
  • 79011, Lviv, Ukraine
  • Contacts:e-mail:

Abstract. Introduction. The subject of research is the peculiarities of the image of three wise magicians in the Ukrainian iconography of the Nativity of Christ and the cycles of the Akathists of the Mother of God of the XVI—XVIII centuries.

The purpose of the study is to conduct a comparative analysis of the iconography of the three wise magicians in the Ukrainian art of the XVI—XVIII centuries.

The object of research is the image of three magicians in compositions: Christmas; Worship of the Magic; arrival, worship and return of the magicians to Babylon cycles of the Akathist of the Mother of God in Ukrainian art of the XVI—XVIII centuries.

Relevance of the chosen topic. Images of three magi in the iconography of the Nativity of Christ and Ukrainian cycles of the Akathist to the Mother of God XVI – XVIII centuries have never been an independent object of study by scientists. Considering the change in the interpretation of the images of the Magi, it is advisable to determine the features and sources of transformation of this iconography in the Ukrainian art of the XVI – XVIII centuries.

The methods of formal art history and historical-cultural analysis, iconography and iconology gave the opportunity to trace the changes in the interpretation of the images of the magicians in the Ukrainian art of the XVI—XVIII centuries.

Results: It is established that the sages-magicians in oriental costumes, in princely clothes, kings with turbans or crowns on their heads. The Magi became the embodiment of three ages of humanity (old man, middle-aged man, young man), three continents (Europe, Asia, Africa) and racial identity (one of the Magicians was portrayed as black).

Conclusions. The iconographic basis of the transformation of the images of the Magi in the Ukrainian art of the XVI—XVIII centuries were: 1) compositions of the Nativity of Christ of the XVI—XVII centuries; 2) iconography «Nativity of Christ with the history of childhood» (typical of the Rybotytsya painting center, 1670s—1760s); 3) iconography of holy warriors-riders (St. George, St. Boris and Gleb); 4) Murals of the Akathist of the Mother of God of the Greek, Balkan and Romanian regions of the XIV—XVI centuries; 5) Western European painting and engraving XIV—XVII centuries.

Keywords: Akathist of the Mother of God, Christmas, iconography, icon, players, mural, magi.

Received 25.09.2020


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