Hetman of Ukraine Ivan Mazepa is a figure from three centuries ago who still lives today – and lives in two dimensions of reality.
The first is the dimension of historicity. Mazepa was a man of a specific epoch, and in this epoch he was an actor of the first rank. At a time of upheaval in Ukraine, its brief independence, and its division between the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth and the Tsardom of Muscovy, Mazepa was a starring figure on both the domestic and the international stage. The part he played aimed at a Ukrainian state unified from both parts of the partitioned land. In… Read more about A Metamorphosis from History to Legend
The cultural manifestations of European interest in Hetman Mazepa — as illustrated in cases 2 and 3 — represent works of high culture, serious art, classical music. These are the genres of epic poetry, verse drama, opera, symphonic poems, the paintings of the professional artist's atelier. The centers of this cultural outpouring were the traditional ones in France, Italy, Germany.
The irony of fate is such, that while Hetman Ivan Mazepa became the best known Ukrainian worldwide, both as a figure of history and myth, in his own homeland of Ukraine for decades he fell into oblivion. If known at all, it was largely as others would have Ukrainians see him. There was little of a native, national image cultivated of him in the cultural arena.
It was not always so. During his hetmancy, from 1687 to 1708, Mazepa was not only a positive, but even a cult figure. In painting, engraving, poetry, drama, all types of dedicatory enterprises — he was compared to heroes of… Read more about Is No Man a Prophet in His Own Country?