Art Against War: Ukrainian Artist Petro Magro from Dnipro

For the past few days rescue workers in the town of Dnipro have been searching for survivors of a devastating Russian attack. A missile hit an apartment building, destroying it completely. I spent several summers in Dnipro and I have several friends there, and these news have affected us deeply. Almost a year later and I still haven’t learned to cope with the pain of seeing familiar landmarks scarred by war.

After seeing images of gutted apartment buildings and bombed out streets, I needed to remember Dnipro as a vibrant town in the eastern part of Ukraine. Its name comes from its location on the Dnieper River, and its shores offer beautiful views. I went through my archive of photographs that I took during my travels in Ukraine. It was in Dnipro where I discovered the art of Petro Magro (1918–2010). A native of the region, he captured its landscapes in his impressionistic paintings. I hope that you will enjoy his artwork as much as I did–a reminder of beauty and an antidote to darkness and despair.

Do you have a favorite artist whose works uplift you? 

You can find more artworks by Petro Magro here.

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39 Comments

  • Nancy Chan: These paintings are beautiful. The lilacs really caught my eye. Petro Magro’s painting reminds me of my favourite artist, Claude Monet.

    Impressionist art I find so calming and tranquil, and yes, also uplifting. January 20, 2023 at 9:48am Reply

    • Victoria: So well put–calm and yet uplifting. I also liked the lilacs. January 20, 2023 at 1:53pm Reply

  • Phyllis Iervello: Beautiful paintings. My heart aches for the people of Ukraine, and all victims of war. It is so senseless. January 20, 2023 at 10:52am Reply

    • Aurora: Thank you so much Victoria, what a beautiful land, these paintings have a dream-like quality, they remind me of Renoir’s shimmering palette. January 20, 2023 at 12:26pm Reply

      • Victoria: Very true, I also noticed the same thing. January 20, 2023 at 1:55pm Reply

    • Aurora: Sorry Phillys for posting my comment as a reply. January 20, 2023 at 12:32pm Reply

    • Victoria: It is senseless and the level of violence and destruction is unbelievable. January 20, 2023 at 1:53pm Reply

  • Sandra: So beautiful.
    I do love art.
    I am in love with a newly required item at NYPL
    It is a miniature leaf, but the Quran. Its so small and intricate and I try to stare at the small calligraphy. It also has a very small beautiful carrying case..
    I volunteer there and find everything in their treasures exhibit to be interesting.
    Here is a photo, if you don’t mind me posting. https://www.nypl.org/events/exhibitions/galleries/visual-world/item/11280 January 20, 2023 at 11:27am Reply

    • Silvermoon: Hello Sandra,
      Oh the leaf Quran is beautiful indeed.

      Hello Victoria, what beautiful paintings, although it is heartbreaking to think they and the people around them are being subject to the ravages of war.

      Art can move us – whether because of it’s beauty, symbolism, message or appeal to our memories or emotions. These seem to do all (for you and many others here). January 20, 2023 at 12:30pm Reply

      • Victoria: Art reminds us of something else beyond the day-to-day grind. It’s such a powerful manifestation of life and beauty. So, yes, I agree with you. January 20, 2023 at 1:56pm Reply

    • Victoria: Thank you so much for sharing. This is stunning. January 20, 2023 at 1:54pm Reply

  • Aurora: So sorry my previous comment ended as a reply Phillys, my apology. January 20, 2023 at 12:29pm Reply

  • Karen-Anne Keating: I haven’t commented in a while. Thank you for sharing January 20, 2023 at 1:15pm Reply

    • Victoria: Thank you. Nice to see you again. January 20, 2023 at 1:56pm Reply

  • Mel: Very lovely painting. Thanks for your post.

    My overall favorites:

    Kirchner, Kandinsky (esp. the Tunisian ones), Klee, Nolde, Derain, Delaunay (Robert and Sonia), also deKooning. I enjoyed reading the Diaries of Paul Klee as well. January 20, 2023 at 2:18pm Reply

    • Victoria: I read The Diaries of Paul Klee recently and I also enjoyed them very much. Highly recommended for all who like his work. January 21, 2023 at 4:24am Reply

  • Aki: There are many I like a lot, and several more that I admire, on top of those, the works of old masters that I find incredible.
    But I have to name one it would be Matisse. The textures, the fabrics, the colours, the wallpapers, everything is beautifully rendered and composed. January 20, 2023 at 3:19pm Reply

    • Victoria: Same here. By the way, Matisse: The Life by Hilary Spurling is a fantastic book. January 21, 2023 at 4:25am Reply

  • Madaris: Thanks for sharing this. Marc Chagall’s vibrant and whimsical paintings tend to soothe me when I need comfort. January 20, 2023 at 5:40pm Reply

    • Victoria: I had such a wonderful time visiting his museum in Nice. His blues are incredibly rich. January 21, 2023 at 4:26am Reply

  • Amanda M: Incredibly sad to see what has happened in Ukraine. My heart just breaks in many pieces for the pain & suffering of the people there.
    Sending much love & blessings from Australia, to you Victoria. ♥️
    These paintings are beautiful, Victoria.

    I have always loved Van Gogh. He was able to convey so much beauty in his paintings, whilst being so troubled and suffering greatly with despair himself.

    Another painter whose work I adore is the English artist John William Waterhouse.
    He produced some stunning artwork in the Pre-Raphaelite tradition, representing both Ancient Greek Mythology and Arthurian legend. January 20, 2023 at 6:19pm Reply

    • Victoria: Thanks to you I just spent a delightful time looking at Waterhouse’s paintings. Such lovely motifs paired with excellent technique.

      And thank you for your kind words. January 21, 2023 at 4:27am Reply

      • Amanda M: I am so very pleased!
        And you are most welcome. 😊 January 21, 2023 at 4:56am Reply

        • Victoria: I found this website that has a very interesting blog with different articles about Waterhouse.
          https://johnwilliamwaterhouse.home.blog/2019/05/24/flora/
          Flora is one of my favorite paintings by him. January 21, 2023 at 5:38am Reply

          • Amanda M: Thank you for the link, Victoria – what a wonderful blog!
            Flora is indeed a beautiful painting.
            I also love The Lady Of Shallot and Hylas And The Nymphs. So many lovely paintings, it’s hard to choose.

            Sir Lawrence Alma-Tadema and Edmund Blair Leighton (‘Godspeed’ and ‘The Accolade’ -my favourites) are also very talented artists that I like very much. ♥️ January 21, 2023 at 4:44pm Reply

            • Silvermoon: Hello Amanda, I am a huge fan of the Pre-Raphaelites. You mention Waterhouse’s The lady of Shalott. It’s probably the best known painting of this subject, but my favourite is the dramatic William Holman Hunt painting of the same lady/poem/story. Do you know it? Some years ago, there was a wonderful exhibition of the Pre-Raphaelites at the Tate Britain in London. Loved seeing Hunt’s version there among many others. January 22, 2023 at 9:45am Reply

              • Amanda M: Hello Silvermoon.

                Yes, I have seen Holman Hunt’s version of The Lady of Shalot (this time I ensured the correct spelling of ‘shalot’ and not ‘shallot’ – my autocorrect kept changing it to the vegetable spelling, in my previous post..!)

                It’s also a very beautiful version and rather dramatic too, with the mirror cracking as she gazed at Sir Lancelot.

                How lovely being able to view this in London! January 22, 2023 at 5:08pm Reply

  • Emily: Just spent a week in Gee’s Bend, Alabama, with a few of the most extraordinary artistic geniuses in history. Don’t know that I can find the words yet to describe the experience, but these are women living on the land formerly owned by people who formerly owned their ancestors. Their art tradition was formed out of practicality into which they injected brilliance & joy. The most incredible artists & the most wonderful people I’ve ever met. January 21, 2023 at 12:50am Reply

    • Victoria: Do you have a few names? I’d love to take a look at their work. January 21, 2023 at 4:27am Reply

      • Emily: There are many, over many generations, all mothers & daughters & cousins. The artists I had the privilege of learning from this week were Loretta Pettway Bennet, Marlene Pettway Jones, & Lou Ida McCloud, but if you image search “Gee’s Bend” you’ll find a bounty of graphic brilliance. January 21, 2023 at 5:53am Reply

        • Emily: Here’s a good link with some of my favorites plus a bunch I haven’t even seen pictures of before!

          https://www.soulsgrowndeep.org/gees-bend-quiltmakers January 21, 2023 at 8:46am Reply

          • Silvermoon: Hello Emily, thanks for sharing this link. It’s absolutely beautiful and fascinating. I had never heard of Gee’s Bend before, and have been amazed reading about it and the beautiful artwork with textiles and quilting. Wonderful what we learn and share here on Bois de Jasmine. 💕 January 22, 2023 at 9:53am Reply

            • Emily: My absolute pleasure. I can’t think of any other such phenomenon in art history in re so many geniuses over so much time. A) They’re just special, & B) they’re trained from childhood (young children are only allowed to thread needles & play under the quilts – ultimate blanket fort!) in traditions of experimentation. There is an overarching Gee’s Bend style, but every artist creates her own completely identifiable style within its rubrics. The women we were working with were incredibly generous with their time & techniques. It was such a blessing to be able to observe & be taught. I learned more in a few days from Miss Loretta & Marlene & Lue Ida than any MFA program could teach in a year. Their primary dictum was, “If it’s perfect it isn’t art.” You start somewhere, anywhere, then build on that organically. & play. At periodic stages the quilter calls for eyes & everyone in the room gathers round. Not for a grad school critique but for a loving group assessment. You don’t stop working ever but you chat & laugh & learn. Between the art & the history & the activism & the community… Just wow. January 23, 2023 at 7:38am Reply

              • Silvermoon: More and more fascinating. What an experience for you too! I liked the idea that art isn’t about perfection. And the value of a “call for eyes”. January 23, 2023 at 12:14pm Reply

  • donna m macdonald: Such beautiful art! I love the hope in the first one. My heart reaches out to Ukraine and all its lovely people. January 21, 2023 at 9:16am Reply

  • rainboweyes: I’ve always found Georgia O’Keefe’s work extremely comforting. The depth and the vivid colours of her paintings make me smile and open my eyes for nature’s beauty. She captures it so well in her paintings. January 21, 2023 at 10:25am Reply

    • Silvermoon: Hello rainboweyes! I have always really liked Georgia O’Keefe. It was wonderful to visit the museum dedicated to her work in Santa Fe. January 22, 2023 at 9:56am Reply

  • Gabriela: I love Chagall and also a few Brazilian painters: Tarsila do Amaral, Portinari and Regina Pena (she was a wonderful person). January 21, 2023 at 11:27am Reply

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