« 2021. # 2 (157)

The Ethnology Notebooks. 2021. # 2 (158), P. 424—434

УДК 27-526.63+398(477):(2-523.45)

DOI https://doi.org/10.15407/nz2021.02.424


  • ORCID ID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-9625-0690
  • Candidate of Sciences in Art Studies (Ph. D), Senior Researcher
  • of the Cherkasy Regional Museum of Local Lore
  • 1, Slavy street, 18000, Cherkasy, Ukraine,
  • e-mail: kulish_oxana_andre@ukr.net


Abstract. The article provides an analysis of the visual content of a unique sample of Ukrainian sacred painting, it is about the icon «The Unsleeping Eye» from Subotiv of the second half of the 18th century.

The object of the research is the Ukrainian folk icon «The Unsleeping Eye».

The subject is a metaphor of the folk icon «The Unsleeping Eye» from Subotiv.

The topicality of this article is due to the formation of the cultural-historical type of the Ukrainian narrative that, through a visual ontological metaphor is designed from Cossack times to the present day. This narrative is related to the heroic theme of the liberation struggle of the Ukrainian people for their national and spiritual identity, for their statehood.

Tasks of the article: to find out what is the manifestation of the visual ontological metaphor in relation to the icon «The Unsleeping Eye» from the Elijah’s Church of Subotiv. The method of synthesis of ethnographic, historical and art data is used in the research and methods of induction, comparativism, iconological analysis.

The purpose: to consider the visual ontological metaphor of the folk icon «The Unsleeping Eye» from Subotiv in the retrospect of history and old Ukrainian culture.

The basis of the work is an exhibit «Christ the Unsleeping Eye» and information about it in the unified passport from the documentary-material fund of the Cherkasy Regional Museum of Local Lore. The boundaries of the visual ontological metaphor of the represented icon are determined directly within the facts from the history of the Middle Dnieper region of the second half of the 17—18th centuries, and belonging to that history Chyhyryn’s land as part of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, also within cultural boundaries, namely the sacred architecture of Subotiv of that time and the ancient Ukrainian mythology, in which the Christian faith was superimposed on the pagan vision of a world about the Holy Prophet Elijah and the God’s Archangel Michael as the Thunderers.

Keywords: the Ukrainian folk icon «The Unsleeping Eye», Subotiv, the visual ontological metaphor, the God Infant, St. Elijah, St. Michael the Archangel, sacred architecture.


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