July 27 marks the 125th anniversary of the birth of an outstanding book graphic satirist, caricaturist, illustrator and painter Jazep Horyd (1896–1939).
Jazep Horyd was born in Odessa in a large family. He finished school in Mariupol in 1914, then worked for some time and served in the army. In 1921, he moved to Vilnia. He studied at the Art Faculty of the Vilnia University (under the tutorship of Ferdynand Rushchyc and Liudamir Sliandzinski) as a free listener from 1923 to 1925, then perfected his skills in private studios in Paris in 1928.
From 1926 to 1928, Ja. Horyd collaborated with the satirical magazine "Malanka", where he placed political caricatures and humorous drawings.
The main topics of his graphics were various issues of everyday life; he came up with many comical sketches due to his rich imagination. The graphic works of the master were original, concise, thoughtful, and cohesive.
Ja. Horyd was a member of the Vilnius Society of Plastic Artists along with Jazep Drazdovich, Piotr Serhijevich, Mikhail Siauruk. They were illustrators for Western Belarusian printed publications. Ja. Horyd gave a distinct appearance to publications, participated in the design of textbooks, used to find original artistic solutions to the covers of new magazines, and newspaper headlines. The artist sought to convey the inner content of the book and its ideological pathos, to give it an expressive and aesthetically complete look. In 1925, he designed the publication of "Belarusian Children's Songbook" by folklorist and musicologist A. Hrynievich. He designed poetry collections "Vianok" by M. Bahdanovich (2nd edition, 1927), "The Pine Wood Noise" by M. Vasiliok and "Spring Songs" by H. Iljashevich (1929), "Cranberry Colour" by M. Tank (1937). He was the author of "The Belarusian Folk Songs" cover by R. Shyrma (1929).
The artist created a number of magical fairy-tale images (of Vernidub-the-Blacksmith, Strongman, Rimsha-the-Truth-Teller, Ivanok-Simpleton) in the collection "Belarusian (Kryvichan) Fairy-Tales" (1929) in watercolour technique, and also drew the cover for this book.
When designing the covers of "Rodnyja Honi" and "The Belarusian Culture" magazines (1927), the children's magazine "Zaranka" (1927-1931), the newspaper of the Belarusian peasant workers community "Narodny Zwon" (1926), he used Belarusian landscape and the realities of folklife as the basis.
Black-and-white drawings for calendars of the graphic series "Twelve Months" (first prepared for the "Belarusian Calendar 1927") are distinguished by subtle lyricism.
Jazep Horyd was also known as a talented portrait painter. In 1926, he created a portrait of the famous Vilnia sculptor and architect Rafal Jaukhimovich.
He was also the author of lithographic portraits of Janka Kupala (1923), and Jakub Kolas (1931). He drew landscapes ("Nioman with Fishermen on the Banks", "A Hill", "Views of Vilnia and its Surroundings"), and worked as a decorator (sgraffito on the building facade of one of the Vilnia second-hand bookshops, etc.).
He took part in exhibitions in Vilnia, Poznan and Paris on several occasions. He organized a personal exhibition in 1932, where he presented easel and graphic works, sketches of frescoes, stained-glass windows, etc. The artist's works are kept in the National Museum in Warsaw, many of them are in private collections.
Ja. Horyd died during the bombing in Warsaw at the very beginning of the Second World War.
Arsen Lis was one of the first literary critics who researched the life and work of Jazep Horyd; his book "The Trail of a Burning Lightning" (1981) is dedicated to the artist. Information on the life and art activity of Ja. Horyd can be found in the online encyclopaedia “Belarus in Persons and Events”.
Bibliology Research Department