Heorhij Narbut

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Cyrillic ( Ukrainian )
Георгій Іванович Нарбут
Transl. : Heorhij Ivanovyč Narbut
Transcr. : Heorhij Ivanovych Narbut
Cyrillic ( Russian )
Георгий Иванович Нарбут
Transl .: Georgij Ivanovič Narbut
Transcr .: Georgi Ivanovich Narbut
Heorhij Narbut around 1920

Heorhiy Iwanowytsch Narbut (born February 25 . Jul / 9. March  1886 greg. In Narbutiwka , Chernigov Governorate , Russian Empire ; † 23. May 1920 in Kiev , Ukrainian SSR ) was a Ukrainian painter , book illustrator and graphic artist .

Illustration by Narbut for Ivan Kotljarewskyj's "Aeneid"


Heorhij Narbut was born in 1886 on a farm in the village of Narbutiwka in the Ukrainian Oblast of Sumy , which is now named after him , as one of seven children of an impoverished noble family. His mother was the daughter of a priest, and his father, among whose ancestors were Zaporozhian Cossacks , graduated from the Faculty of Physics and Mathematics of Kiev University . His younger brother Volodymyr Narbut (1888–1938) became a well-known poet.

After graduating from high school in Hluchiw in 1906 , Narbut moved to Saint Petersburg to study oriental studies at the university . However, he immediately switched to the historical-philological faculty and left the university again in November 1907.

In Saint Petersburg he met the painters Iwan Bilibin and Mstislaw Dobuschinski , who took care of him and introduced him to the Petersburg art world. He became a pupil of Bilbin and lived in his apartment between 1906 and 1912. Between 1907 and 1908 he was also a student of Léon Bakst and Mstislaw Dobuschinski at the school of Jelisaveta Swanzewa .

In 1907 Narbut exhibited illustrations for children's books for the first time, which immediately brought him success and notoriety. His early works still bore traces of the influence of Ivan Bilibin.

In the autumn of 1909 he traveled to Munich for about six months to study Albrecht Dürer's techniques, among other things . There he visited the studio of Simon Hollósy for a short time . After his return to Saint Petersburg he became a member of the Mir Iskusstwa (The World of Art) association and won by illustrating book covers and book illustrations, such as for the fable book by Ivan Andreevich Krylow from 1912 and fairy tales by Hans Christian Andersen , but also through his neoclassical and symbolist watercolors in importance. After Narbut became known for the illustration of children's books, he also successfully designed books for adults.

After the February Revolution of 1917 , Narbut moved to Kiev and took part in the founding of the Ukrainian State Academy of Arts , at which he became professor after its opening in September 1917 and, in February 1918, succeeded Fedir Krychevskyj , became its rector. At the academy he laid the foundation for modern art education and promoted young graphic artists such as Robert Lisovsky . During the First World War he was a member of the loot commission. He was also a member of the College and Chairman of the Art and Industry Department of the All-Ukrainian Committee of Fine Arts and head of a commission to create a museum based on an art collection. He was also a member of a commission for the creation of a new Ukrainian coat of arms . After the October Revolution , Narbut worked for many Ukrainian magazines and began designing a new version of the Ukrainian alphabet. He died of typhus in Kiev on May 23, 1920 and was buried in the local Baikowe cemetery .


The asteroid (3448) Narbut , discovered by Nikolai Tschernych in 1977 , was named after him.

The National Bank of Ukraine issued a two hryvnia commemorative coin on his 120th birthday in 2006 and the Ukrainian Post in 2008 a postage stamp commemorating the 90th anniversary of Ukraine's first postage stamps with Narbut's portrait and stamps designed by him.

Web links

Commons : Heorhij Narbut  - collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. Biography of Heorhij Narbut on ikleiner.ru; accessed on May 9, 2016 (Russian)
  2. a b c d e f "Russian Painting" by Peter Leek , page 265; accessed on May 9, 2016 (German)
  3. a b Entry Narbut, Heorhii in the Encyclopedia of Ukraine ; accessed on May 9, 2016
  4. a b c biography of Heorhij Narbut on graphic.org.ru; accessed on May 9, 2016 (Russian)
  5. Biography of Heorhij Narbut on ukrainians-world; accessed on May 9, 2016 (Ukrainian)
  6. Website about the Baikowe cemetery on kiev-necropol; accessed on May 9, 2016 (Russian)
  7. ^ IAU Minor Planet Center (3448) Narbut; accessed on May 10, 2016
  8. Commemorative coin Heorhij Narbut on the website of the National Bank of Ukraine ; accessed on May 10, 2016 (Ukrainian)