Photogravure for True Art-Lovers!
affects us indirectly – not with a solid and striking impression like a picture, but with each of its elements separately. The gravure can be “read” only gradually, stroke by stroke, line by line. This lets the engraving use more limited means than painting does – thus, for example, color is rarely involved in the image of a gravure, it all comes down to a line, a spot, a tone. That is why there are conventions in the engraving, it is more figurative.
The comparative convention of the engraving becomes its main, fundamental element. It collects something significant, typical, it tends to generalize, and it demands rather understanding than feeling from a viewer. One could even say that the painting mostly depicts, the engraving rather expresses something. In addition, looking at such a famous monument to Hetman Bohdan Khmelnitsky, the bell tower and the dome of St Sophia, every time one can see something different, invent, and, perhaps, rethink such a familiar image.
This is an amazing photo that captures the spirit of ancient times! It seems that this is the day in July 1888, when the monument had just appeared on the Sofia Square in Kiev, and it will only become one of the symbols of Kiev. By the way, it was built in honor of the 900th anniversary of the Baptism of Kievan Rus’.
One urban legend says that when the monument was already in its place, it turned out that the horse was turned to St. Michael’s Cathedral by its tail, and that was impolite. Therefore, the pedestal was deployed, and the hetman’s mace, which had been intended to threaten Poland, was directed somewhere to Sweden…
This is an extremely dynamic composition! One can feel it in the photoengrave as well. The moment when the rider stops his hot and reeking horse is quite symbolic: a courageous commander seems to stop his violent motion to point to the north-east for the people who gathered in the square (it was on the Sofia Square where on December 23, 1648 the people of Kiev met Bohdan Khmelnytsky and Cossack regiments after the victory at Pilyavtsi). The powerful taming of a horse, the resolutely raised right hand with a mace, the face turned to the people make one feel the invincible power of a strong personality.
It’s an amazing engraving made by a real master! It was created by Valeriy Tkachenko in the studio Stamperia d’Arte Edi-Grafica Firenze with the help of the unique equipment, produced in 1900, under the supervision of masters. Today this equipment belongs to the grandchildren of Filippo Becattini, who own this studio, and it is considered not only a family heirloom, but also the pride of their collection.
The photographs of the engraving are rare as well: there are twenty-two of them. Each work is signed and numbered, and it is needless to say that when becoming an element of interior space, such photo work will become its enviable decoration!
Valerii Tkachenko, from Kiev, Ukraine, specializes in contemporary fine art photography that captures historical moments of common life. His work includes human subjects and urban landscapes, and he focuses on street and action photography as well as black and white images. Tkachenko aims to elicit an emotional response in those who view his work. To see the gallery of his photos and keep updated on showings or schedule an appointment, please view ValeriiTkachenkoPhoto.