Yuri Kiyanchenko was born in Obukhovo in 1911 in a peasant family. From 1929 until 1932 he studied at the arts and crafts professional school in Kiev and in 1932-1939 at the Kiev Art Institute. After graduation he worked as a teacher at the Kiev Art School. He joined the army in 1941, fought at the frontline, was taken prisoner, but managed to survive. Since 1945 Yury Kiyanchenko lived and worked in Kiev. His creative work was greatly influenced by Russian realistic painters as Repin, Surikov and Serov, but at the Hermitage he could also work for hours, copying paintings by El Greco.
Throughout his career his main interest were thematic and historical paintings, in which he demonstrated his high professional skill and which brought him fame. But when his painting A Summer Day (1947) was on display at one of the Republican exhibitions it caused a scandal and was denounced by Nikita Krushchev since it depicted a nude woman. The painting was later obtained by the Odessa Art Museum.
Off course the communist ideology affected Kiyanchenko’s work, painting Lenin as a “A Kind Tsar”, which was quite typical for Russian painters. Kiyanchenko painted many portraits, often devoted to historical figures and Cossack’s military leaders from the time of Bogdan Khmelnitski. He also painted many landscapes, depicting the rural Ukraine with great love. Kiyanchenko died in Kiev in 1989. His paintings are in many museums of the former USSR and in private collections throughout the world.
– private collection, Russia
– Douwes Fine Art, Amsterdam, 1996
– private collection, Switzerland
– Douwes Fine Art, London, 2010
– private collection, The Netherlands
– This painting was exhibited in the 1996 at Gebr. Douwes Fine Art Russian Paintings exhibition and included in the catalogue.
– Hidden Treasures: Russian and Soviet Impresssionism 1930-1970’s, Vern Grosvenor Swanson, Fleischer Museum, 1994, with an illustration on p. 108 Apple Blossoms on the Dnieper River (1950);
– Socialist Realist Painting, M. Cullerne Bown, London / New Haven, 1998;
– A Dictionary of twentieth century Russian and Soviet Pain¬ters 1900-1980’s, M. Cullerne Bown, London 1998, with an ill. on p. 146, plate 114 Apple Blossoms on the Dnieper River (1950)