« 2023. # 1 (169)

The Ethnology Notebooks. 2023. № 1 (169), 163—180

UDK 7.046.3(477)”17″:27-312.47

DOI https://doi.org/10.15407/nz2023.01.163



  • ОRCID.ID: http://orcid.org/0000-0002-0977-4470
  • PhD, Assistant professor,
  • Senior Research Associate,
  • Department of Art History,
  • The Ethnology Institute UNAS,
  • 15, Svobody Avenue, 79000, Lviv, Ukraine,
  • Contacts: e-mail: m.levytska@gmail.com

Abstract. Introduction. Theological thoughts about the role and significance of the Virgin Mary as Mother of God in Mariology had been developed for almost two thousand years of the Eastern and Western ecclesiastical traditions. Whereas the Ukrainian art of the 17th—18th centuries was closely connected with religious culture and was presented mainly in religious forms, particularly in forms of honouring the Mother of God, the interest in a specific type of Marian iconography is quite reasonable.

Problem statement. Ukrainian territory was always the stage of clashes and interactions for different religions and different cultures. In a such context Marian’s devotion practices, veneration of miraculous icons, and pilgrimage sites were the potential locus for dialogue within the heterogeneous society. Conversely, this dialogue was reflected in the artistic forms, in the assimilation of the Latin samples in the Orthodox or Uniate ecclesiastical art tradition.

Purpose. The article has examined the development of the iconography of the Immaculate Conception in Ukrainian religious art of the 18th century through the optics of biblical references, theological texts, and the ecclesiastical imagery of the Orthodox and Catholic traditions of the 17th —18th  centuries. The research focuses on typical examples of painting and graphics from the regions of Halychyna, Volhynia, and the Right Bank, in which the specified iconographic motif and its variations were represented.

Methods. The analytic and descriptive approaches have been combined in the research to reveal the aspects of historical, theological, and artistic attitudes within the definite religious topic. The iconological and hermeneutic methods, based on studies of religious culture, were used to analyze particular artworks with references between textual and pictorial means.

Results. The first changes regarding the Marian topics in Ukrainian icon painting appeared in the late 16th century in the scenes of the Twelve feasts. In particular, the Carmelites made an essential contribution to spreading the new iconography.

Conclusions. The given review of Ukrainian literary Baroque acknowledged that from the middle of the 17th century, Marian topics and symbolism took a very important place in the spiritual and aesthetic space of Ukrainian culture, and this process was quite commensurate with the devotional Marian practices of the Catholic world. The theological and dogmatic image of the Virgin Mary perfectly corresponded to the general cultural parameters of the Baroque: with its unique synthesis of the transcendental and the earthly, the irrational and the rational, the superhuman and the natural, which were harmoniously «arranged « in the image of the Virgin Mary.

Keywords: iconography, the Immaculate Conception, Biblical sources, symbolics, emblematic rhetoric.

Received  29.12.2022


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