Sergei Fedorovich Shishko

Sergei Fedorovich Shishko

1911 —1997
  • Laureate of the State prize of Ukraine named after T. Shevchenko (1982)
  • Honorary distinction of the President of Ukraine (1995)
  • People's Artist of the USSR (1964)
  • People's Artist of USSR (1974)
Sergei Shishko is an acclaimed Soviet Ukrainian painter, an honorary citizen of Kiev, a classic of Ukrainian landscape and a master of still life. First and foremost, the artist has devoted his lyrical scenes, made in an impressionistic manner, to Kiev. Shishko was born on June 25, 1911, in the village of Nosovka, in the province of Chernigovskaya of the Russian Empire (now Chernigovskaya region, Ukraine) in the family of a veterinarian. The family relocated to the town of Nizhyn in 1919 when Sergei was eight years old. The boy began to learn drawing in elementary school, where the discipline was taught by P. Lapa, whom Shishko subsequently recalled with a special feeling of gratitude and respect. The first teacher has been vital for the formation of Sergei Shishko as a painter and his artistic priorities: Lapa had instilled the love of art in the young man as well as shared basic practical skills and secrets of the profession. Several of the first significant works of the artist were made in late 1926 - early 1927. They are sketches from nature, which indicates that being at such an early stage of the artistic path Shishko already was fascinated by the landscape. In 1929, he entered the Kiev Art Institute at the faculty of painting under the guidance of Fedor Krichevsky, where he studied until 1933. Sergei Shishko continued his education at the Leningrad Academy of Arts at Boris Johanson's studio in the period from 1936 to 1943. During the war, the artist spent a year in the evacuation in Samarkand, and also created a series of front-line sketches on the 1st Ukrainian front. Having received the diploma of the Academy, Shishko moved to the city of Zagorsk near Moscow, where he lived and worked for a short time before his return to Ukraine in 1944. The artist travelled to the cities of Western Ukraine and Bukovina to collect material for his future work. Sergei Fedorovich settled in Kiev, his favourite city, where he remained to work productively until his death.

In his works, Shishko has elevated the traditions of the Ukranian landscape painting brought up by such important for Ukraine artists as S. Svitoslavsky and P. Levchenko to a new level. The artist was creating a series of paintings "Kiev Suite", dedicated to the views of his beloved city, over the course of forty years. The series includes more than 100 paintings and sketches. The painter himself said: "I always begin to work only when something poetic, beautiful, especially in the colours, opens in reality; when I feel that I cannot help but paint". Shishko adhered to an impressionistic approach in his works, which is very different from the dominant at the time, namely in 1950 - 1970, socialist realism in the works of other Ukrainian artists. It is surprising that such a famous artist as Sergei Shishko managed to avoid painting portraits of party leaders and praise in his works "buildings of the century", but despite this, to be awarded the title of "People's Artist of the USSR". Nevertheless, it was not possible to avoid the politics altogether: Shishko became a member of the CPSU since 1952. The artist was not deprived of public recognition: among other regalias, he was awarded the order of Lenin in 1971, the order of Friendship of Peoples in 1981, the order of Ukraine "For merit " in 1995. Bright, life-affirming, expressive urban landscapes from the series "Kyiv - the dearest city" contrast with the personal life of Sergei Shishko, which had a significant amount of tragedies in it: his wife was seriously ill and his disabled daughter, who was a gifted artist herself, passed away at a young age. The artist died on April 26, 1997, at the age of eighty-five years in Kiev and was buried at the Baykov cemetery. Today, Shishko's works are stored in the collections of the National Art Museum of Ukraine, as well as in Simferopol, Odessa, Chernihiv, Sumy, Kharkiv museums, among other art museums and private collections around the world.


ChangeUA. (2016). Киев маслом: вдохновение Сергея Шишко. [online] Available at: (n.d.). Киевский календарь. [online] Available at:
Сергей Шишко. Альбом. (2006) Киев. Available at: