The Artistry of the Cathedral


Approaching the task of painting and decorating the interior of the Cathedral, Prof. Julian Bucmaniuk chose the traditional elements of the neo-Byzantine style, against the background of the traditions of universal and Ukrainian church art. In particular, he used the baroque style, with realistic traits, which had become, as it were, the Ukrainian style, accepted under the influence of Netherlands’ baroque, with some Byzantine elements.

In his cathedral paintings, the artist not only created an external work of art, but also portrayed the qualities, interior dispositions and character of the individual subjects; he also succeeded in putting spirit into the portrayed actions. He attempted to respond to the mentality and receptivity to art of today’s person, and so his subjects are full of life, grace and realism, possessing a profound religious sense.

For this painting Prof. Bucmaniuk, used tempera prepared by himself from powdered pigments, oil, eggs and milk. His dominant colours are blue and yellow, as well as the secondary colours derived from them. The blue stands for heaven and serenity; the yellow provides brightness and tranquility. As a result, in the Edmonton Cathedral, one senses a freshness and joy and the presence of god. In depicting the individual figures, the artist made exclusive use of live models, and many parishioners of the day can be recognized in the paintings. Commenting on Prof. Buchmaniuk’s art, Betty Tomlinson said on the Edmonton radio station that “the Ukrainian Catholic Cathedral in Edmonton has one of the finest interiors of all churches in Canada.”

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