Vasyl Krychevsky fell in love with Crimea during a visit to the estate of his mentor and friend, a prominent Kharkov architect and art academician Alexei Beketov, in 1897. The impression of the sea, mountain ridges, and sun inspired a number of his plein air studies, sketches and paintings. When Krychevsky became the professor of a newly formed Ukrainian Academy of Art in Kiev (established in 1917) he often took his students to Crimea during the summer to paint outdoors. The present painting of Crimea, Mountain Ai-Petri, executed in 1951, is based on a study that Krychevsky did in Crimea during one such trip in the summer of 1924. Although the above landscape was painted in the latter part of the artist's life, it recreates closely the shimmering light and the mood of the original study. Similar to other works by Vasyl Krychevsky, Crimea, Mountain Ai-Petri is defined by a refined use of expressive line, painterly construction of space through color, and an impeccable sensitivity for the flat plane.
We are grateful to Valentyna Ruban-Kravchenko from Maksym Rylsky Institute of Art History, Folklore, and Ethnology National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine, for her help in preparing this note.