Kaidash-Mashkivska Kateryna Dmytrivna (February 21, 1913, Kharkiv – February 17, 1992, Stebliv, Cherkasy region) is a representative of Ukrainian folk painting.
She came from the Kaidash family of Stebliv, which became the prototype of I.S. Nechuy-Levytskiy’s novel “The Kaidash’es Family”. Kateryna received only primary education. Later she worked at the Stebliv cotton-spinning weaving factory, on a local collective farm. Her talent for drawing became apparent from youth.
In 1967 Kateryna began to paint with watercolors. I. Nechuy-Levytskiy, an unsurpassed painter of the word, became a real teacher and inspirer for her. Even in her youth, she noticed a characteristic feature of the writer’s work. He seemed to run a magic brush on the canvas, and the landscapes themselves begged for paper.
Watercolors by Kateryna Dmytrivna are marked by bright national color and originality. She painted in the genre of artistic primitivism. Her creative output is approximately half a thousand paintings, of which the lion’s share are illustrations to the works of I. Nechuy-Levytskiy. These are, in particular, to the story “Mykola Dzherya”: “Mykola and Nymydora”, “Mykola leaves his native Verbivka”, “Mykola’s massacre of Lord Bzhozowskiy” to the story “Kaidash’es family”: “Meeting of Lavrin with Melashka”, “In Zapadyntsy”, “Ghost of Omelko Kaidash”, “Quarrel over a pear-tree”, etc. She also addressed to the nature of her native Stebliv: “Stebliv View of the Ros », «Fulling mill», «Stebliv sugar factory», «On the Savior mountain», «Castle Island», «Rocks on the Ros», «House in which I. Nechuy-Levytskiy was born» etc. Many of her watercolors reflect the life and spiritual culture of her countrymen. The artist’s brush did not escape the interpretation of T. Shevchenko’s works. Among them there are – “In a wreath to Kobzar”, “Poplar”, “Haidamaky”, “Kateryna”.
K. Kaidash-Mashkivska’s personal exhibitions were organized in Kyiv, Korsun-Shevchenkivskiy, Stebliv. Her works have been presented at many exhibitions in Ukraine, Canada and Russia. They attracted the attention of folk art fans with the originality of style and composition, topographic accuracy. At the First All-Union Festival of Amateur Art (1977) for a series of illustrations to T. Shevchenko’s “Kobzar” she received the First degree diploma and was awarded with the honorary diploma.
In 1989, S.L. Khavrus (then director of the I.S. Nechuy-Levytskiy Literary Memorial Museum) published a set of leaflets “Watercolors by Kateryna Kaidash”. 49 works of the artist are kept in the funds of the Literary-memorial Museum of I.S. Nechuy-Levytskiy, in the funds of the Preserve – 11.