“When I look at this triptych, I see the Yellow Prince in front of me: the tour of the Canvas of Truth is presented

26 April 2023

On Wednesday, April 26, the Ukrainian Crisis Media Center hosted a presentation of the author’s tour, “The Canvas of Truth,” with the participation of scientists from our museum. How Kyiv artists during the USSR created a triptych about the Holodomor-genocide.”

The unique work of Yurii and Taras Honcharenko, “Genocide 1933,” is now on display in the Hall of Memory of our museum. You can learn more about the history of creating this impressive canvas on the Holodomor topic during the author’s tour of the leading researcher of the National Museum of the Holodomor-Genocide, candidate of historical sciences Andrii Ivanets.

“Taras Honcharenko together with his brother Yurii created a landmark canvas not only from an artistic point of view. It is also a sign of the times. The work appeared in 1989, Andrii Ivanets emphasised. For a long time, the communist regime created a wall of silence around the crime of genocide – the Holodomor. The millions of people who survived the genocide could not discuss the tragedy for a long time, and this was an additional traumatising factor for Ukrainians. And when, at the end of the 80s, it became easier to breathe, two young artists dared to create a work of art and show this tragedy in artistic images, in order to begin to realise this crime of apocalyptic proportions, which became the Holodomor for the Ukrainian nation.”

One of the authors, Taras Honcharenko, told how the idea of creating this work appeared.

“I think that this genocide – famine and repression of the 1930s affected every Ukrainian family. But Ukrainians were never silent victims. They resisted. There were also peasant uprisings, and the intelligentsia did not keep silent, for which it was destroyed. We also could not practice art in isolation. We knew the story of our family as well as our friends. Therefore, we decided to take up this topic and create such a large-scale work – both in terms of size and the complexity of the technique. Our grandfather, the artist Volodymyr Bondarenko, also worked on this topic. He was going to create his work, which was to be called “Barbarism”. Regretfully, he did not have time. But his idea became the basis for our work.”

Dmytro Bilyi, the head of the Holodomor and mass man-made famines research department of the National Museum of the Holodomor Genocide, emphasized the need to understand the tragedy of the Holodomor through art and literature.

“Although the Soviet Union banned this topic until the end of the 80s, human memory preserved everything. I first heard stories about the Holodomor as a student, when in 1934 there were only 6,000 inhabitants left in the village from 18,000, from my mother, and my parents are from the Kuban. “Hammer and sickle – death and hunger,” my mother used to say. Also in the Kuban, I recorded several songs that were created in those days: “And you, our commissars, what have you done? / That they drove the farmers into damp graves.” So, people tried to understand what happened to them through folklore. In fiction, one of the iconic works is “The Yellow Prince” by Vasyl Barka. Look at this triptych, I see the “Yellow Prince” in front of me. Famine, the destruction of churches, the destruction of culture and spirituality are the things that Vasyl Barka, the Honcharenko brothers and other artists tell us about those times in their works. In the national and cultural memory, the understanding of this genocide is extremely necessary because it unites the nation, especially now, when we are fighting for survival. When we see that all the classic components of genocide, recognised by the UN, are repeated.”

We want to add that Taras and Yurii Honcharenko’s painting was rarely on a display due to its impressive size and hence, the difficulties with transportation and display. Later, according to Andrii Ivanets, a smaller copy of it was made, which is now shown in the Baltic countries. You can see the original one in our museum.

The tour will take place on April 29, Saturday, at 3:00 p.m. in the Hall of Memory of the National Museum Holodomor-Genocide.

The ticket price for an adult – is 85 UAH, students, pensioners – 75 UAH, and schoolchildren – 70 UAH. Payment is made immediately before the tour at the museum box office.

If you would like to attend the tour, please register using the link:


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