Drovniak Nykyfor (aka Nykyfor) Nykyfor

(* May 21, 1895, Krynytsia - † 10 October 1968, Foliush) - Ukrainian primitive painter from Lemkovina (Łemkowszczyzna, Poland). He had at least 17 names, all of the names are featured in art history books around the world. For example: "Nykyfor from Krynytsia", "Nykyfor Krynytskyi", "Yan Krynytskyi" "Mateiko from Krynytsia", "Master of Krynytsia", "Lemko Nykyfor".

School subjects came to Nykyfor with difficulty. He left the school after he had mastered writing in capital letters, reading and counting and drawing - first he used slate and the board, later - pencils and scraps of paper.

Once Roman Turin, an artist from Lviv, visited Krynytsia. Having acquainted with the works of Drovniak the newcomer expessed his admiration. Roman Turin collected about 200 works by Nykyfor and gave them to Leon Marseille Paris gallery for the exhibition of Ukrainian, French and Italian artists, arranged in November 1932 by Taras Shevchenko Ukrainian People's Museum. Nykyfor was gladly accepted to the international pleiad of artists and since then has been recognized as a bright representative of naive painting.

Nykyfor produced over 30,000 small color drawings or watercolors depicting existing and imaginary Lemko buildings, churches, landscapes, saints, and individuals (often himself). In style some of his works belong to the Lemko tradition of folk icon painting on glass; others are typical of naive art in general.

Read more about Nykyfor and his life on Wikipedia!