Maria Prymachenko, Ukraine’s naïve folk-art painter, has become an icon of national identity. Copies of her 1982 painting “A Dove Has Spread Her Wings and Asks for Peace” are now being used in demonstrations as a symbol of hope. Last week a museum housing many of her painting was attacked by Russian forces and although some were rescued it is not known how many.
She was born 12 January 1909 near Chernobyl into a peasant family and was self-taught, developing her artistic talents after she was struck down by polio at an early age, beginning with embroidery. A later operation enabled her to walk unaided and she had a son by a partner who was killed in World War 11 in Finland with a brother being killed by the Nazis. As she became better known for her painting she had exhibitions in Moscow, Warsaw and Paris. Pablo Picasso was struck by her work saying “I bow down before the artistic miracle of this brilliant Ukrainian.” Her work has been featured on postage stamps and her likeness immortalized on commemorative coins. Her son and two grandsons went on to become painters.
She had a Capricorn Sun conjunct Uranus and opposition Neptune – marking her out as unconventional, creative and stamped with the highly-strung generational, can-be-inspired Neptune Uranus. She also had her Pluto in Gemini conjunct the North Node opposition Venus adding to her artistic inclinations and tying her into the momentous events of her time. With a tough Saturn in self-reliant Aries trine Mars and a lucky, confident Jupiter trine Uranus and Sun.
She needed grit to survive a hard life and had the talent to stand out and make the best of what she had.
Her Sun Uranus in Capricorn do fall in the modern Ukraine’s 1st house so she is an important icon of identity. Her Uranus opposition Neptune had come half circle when Ukraine became independent in 1991 with a Uranus Neptune conjunction in Capricorn on what was her Uranus return, six years before her death.