Hetman in a Wig. External Forms of Representation of the Hetman Kyrylo Rozumovskyi’s Power





Hetmanate, Kyrylo Rozumovskyi, Hetman, ceremonial, semiotics


The article deals with the transformations of visual representations of power of the last hetman of Cossack Ukraine Kyrylo Rozumovskyi (1750-1764). The traditional elements of the ruling elite’s representation included the court of the ruler with its hierarchy, system of political roles, staff, etiquette and ceremonial, capital and numerous residences. Among the hetman, various groups of nobles, courtiers, attendants, representatives of the social strata took part in the performative actions. Political representational acts, including elections, inagurations, investitures, as well as religious and personal celebrations of rulers, such as, hunting and banquet, were the most common. Each action had its own ceremonial scenario that was full of explicit or hidden meanings. Rozumovskyi radically changed the ideology and forms of the external representation of the Hetman's power. Old clothing, churches and fortresses were replaced by the European cosmopolitan and secular courtly culture. Hetman preferred to look like a European nobleman. The cult of the head of the Cossack Troops, as the first knight among equals, transformed into the image of an enlightened ruler and protector of the Little Russian (Malorossia) country. The way of life of the Hetman's court changed significantly. While the traditional banquets and hunts preserved, the new artistic entertainments, such as concerts, spectacles, balls and masquerades, appeared. A renewed hetman’s capital in Baturin with its exquisite palace and park, university, state institutions and factories, reflected this new concept of power.The political aspect of symbols and ceremonials was especially important field of semantic changes. Being a relative of the ruling dynasty and possesing a hetman's title, Rozumovskyi placed himself outside the existing ruling hierarchies both in the Russian Empire and in the Hetmanate. As plans for the establishment of hereditary hetmanhood in Ukraine were made, the visual symbols of the future political project were formed. They combined a symbolism of the "Little Russian (Malorossian) nation" with the Rozumovskyi’s personal coat of arms and monograms. This symbiosis clearly reflected the political ambitions of the Hetman who wanted to see himself as a half-sovereign ruler.



How to Cite

Sokyrko О. (2021). Hetman in a Wig. External Forms of Representation of the Hetman Kyrylo Rozumovskyi’s Power. TEXT AND IMAGE: ESSENTIAL PROBLEMS IN ART HISTORY, 2(8). https://doi.org/10.17721/2519-4801.2019.2.04



Ancient, Medieval and Early Modern art