From Dürer to Rembrandt

The exhibition features artworks from the Bohdan and Varvara Khanenko National Museum of Arts’ collection of Western European engravings. The museum is named after the famous couple of patrons who understood that the world’s artworks should be accessible to the public. The private collection of the Khanenko’s has become the core of the museum’s current set, one of the world’s most important art collections in Ukraine.


The composition of the museum’s collection changed substantially in the 20th century. In the 1920s and 1930s, the museum often gave away and received individual works and large collections from elsewhere. The staff, which was few in numbers at the time, could not spare the time to document this process. This situation still makes it difficult to study the history of the collection, especially its set of prints. The museum’s founders mention the print collection only once, in 1919, in the first library inventory of the museum, where they refer to it as the ‘folder with engravings from the Khanenko collection’.


In 1931, the museum received over a thousand engravings from the collection of Vasyl Shchavynsky (1868–1924) a well-known chemist, art connoisseur, researcher and collector. Forced to leave his homeland due to political circumstances, Shchavynsky, a patriot of Ukraine, ordered the valuable collection of paintings and prints, and his libraries of photographs and books to be handed over to the Kyiv National Museum or the Bohdan Khanenko Museum. Shchavynsky was assassinated in 1924 in what was then Leningrad. His widow, together with museum workers and other Ukrainian intellectuals, did her best to carry out his will, even though the communists of the time did not recognise private property. This is how the museum came to own the engravings of Lucas van Leyden, a large number of Dutch etchings and Albrech Dürer’s outstanding Madonna with the Monkey.


In 1933, a large number of engravings from the Zhytomyr Museum arrived in Kyiv. It is known that in the 1920s, the Zhytomyr collection was substantially expanded with works from the nationalised private collections of Barons de Chaudoir and the Ilyinsky family. The woodcuts by German artists and the etchings by Rembrandt are believed to have originated in the Zhytomyr collections. The lack of stamps or numbering prevents more precise conclusions.


The Khanenko Museum suffered significant losses during the Second World War, when most if its collection of engravings was taken to Germany.


Despite its dramatic history, today the museum’s set of prints accounts for half of its total collection. It contains important engravings of the 16th- and 18th-century European schools, including masterpieces by famous masters.


Organizers: The Lithuanian National Museum of Art, the Bohdan and Varvara Khanenko National Museum of Arts
Project managers: Dr Arūnas Gelūnas, Julija Vaganova
Curators: Anfisa Doroshenko, Olha Honcharenko, Skaistis Mikulionis, Olena Shostak
Exhibition coordinators: Skaistė Marčienė, Aurelija Malinauskaitė
Exhibition architect Jurgis Dagelis
Exhibition designers: Loreta Uzdraitė, Marius Žalneravičius
Exhibition patrons: Minister of Culture of the Republic of Lithuania Simonas Kairys, Department for Culture of Kyiv City State Administration

Exhibition organized in partnership with: Embassy of the Republic of Lithuania in Ukraine, Embassy of the Republic of Lithuania in Poland, Embassy of Ukraine in the Republic of Lithuania, Customs of the Republic of Lithuania, Lithuanian Armed Forces, Lithuanian Riflemen’s Union, Lithuanian Police Force, Department of Culture of Kyiv City State Administration, National Police of Ukraine, Jonas Karolis Chodkevičius Charity and Support Foundation

General supporter AAS „BTA Baltic Insurance Company“
Supporters: founder of the Foundation Crown of Dukes Ostrogski, Honour Consul of the Republic of Lithuania in Kuhansk area Robertas Gabulas, AD REM Group,  UAB Heat Transfer Company, Jonas Karolis Chodkevičius Charity and Support Foundation, Chef the Viking

33 Liepu st, LT-92145, Klaipėda, Lithuania
++370 46 410 412

See also

Exhibition opening

Pranas Domšaitis Gallery invites to see the masterpieces of graphic art from the Ukrainian museums