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Landscape portrait

  • 27.04.2020

The collection of paintings at Kyiv’s Premier Palace Hotel offers both famous works by the renowned classic Glushchenko and paintings by those whose name is lost in history. But for most guests who come to Kyiv for business or travel, these paintings remain a background element of the interior. Premier Hotels and Resorts restores justice and tells the stories of only a few from around three hundred paintings.

Mykola Glushchenko, The Beginning of Spring

The most expensive one

The fate of the artist Mykola Glushchenko, who worked as a Soviet agent in Berlin simultaneously with his artistic activity, is no less interesting than his canvases. Thanks to the profession, Glushchenko did not become a hostage to official Soviet art — the authorities closed their eyes to the fact that his paintings were atypical for that day. Glushchenko has been searching for his “national style” all his life, and in the works of different periods, one can see intricate transformations of color, shapes, and composition. The Beginning of Spring, despite its small size, is the most valuable work of many at the Premier Palace Hotel.

Matviy Kogan-Shatz, During the Sunset, 1952

One that is easy to miss

This painting is located in the narrow passageway of Premier Palace Hotel, so it is very easy to miss on the way to the pool or cigar room. And that’s a pity. Because this painting is everything that the critics loved at the time and the Soviet nomenclature hated. Sunset is a classic, balanced landscape by Kogan-Shatz with sophisticated yet striking color and expressive composition, far from the industrial and domestic problems of its times.

Danilo Bezugliy, Volga-Don Gateway, 1953

The strangest one

At first glance, most of Danilo Bezugly’s works seem out of date today — the industrialization and “great construction” themes are found in any list of his major works. But his ability to combine everyday themes with the imaginative methods of European Orientalists is noteworthy. In this painting, placed in the Terracotta restaurant, the river gateway of the Volgo-Don appears in an almost antique mood. The artist’s inspiration during his numerous travels is especially felt here.

Malva, an unknown artist

Unknown to this day

The walls of the hotel exhibit almost 300 paintings, most of which belong to a brush of prominent Ukrainian artists: from Mykola Glushchenko to Viktor Dobrazhnsky. However, the fate (and authorship) of several works is still unknown. One of these is the Malva, located in the corridor of the old building on the 7th floor. Against the backdrop of other representatives of academic painting, this work is notable for its appeal to the principles of naiveism with its intense colors, but with classic shapes.

Ivan Kisil, Vineyards in Ukraine

Document of the era

What if you combine the painting of social realism with the impressionistic methods? In Ivan Kysil’s Vineyards, we see the result. On the one hand, typical Ukrainian women workers in aprons and scarves. On the other one, an intense color of grapes, which occupies most of the composition. And a constant optimism of easel Soviet paintings. For the contemporary connoisseur, though, the works of Ivan Kisil may seem even too conflict-free.