- Ivan Trusz
- signed in Cyrillic and dated 1921 (lower right); bears various inscriptions in Cyrillic and date 1921 (on the reverse)
- oil on board
- 33 1/2 by 25 1/2 in., 85 by 64.5 cm
Thence by descent
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Trusz was a prolific painter whose favorite subjects included winter landscapes and peasant scenes. Internationally trained, he studied under Polish modernist Jan Stanislawski at the Krakow Academy of Fine Arts from 1891 through 1897, then traveled to Vienna and on to Munich to study under Slovene realist Anton Ažbe. Though he settled in the Ukrainian city of Lviv in 1898, he later journeyed to Italy, Egypt and Palestine, and his impressions from these travels had a significant impact on his oeuvre.
The present lot is one of the artist's finest depictions of hahilky (or vesnianky), a traditional Ukrainian festival. Young girls perform songs, dances and games in remembrance of their pagan ancestors who once did the same, symbolically chasing away winter to make way for a bountiful harvest to come. Even today hahilky remains an important celebration of Ukrainian culture.