Ukrainian Artists #6: Gregory Skovoroda

14th March 2022

A poet, teacher and composer, Gregory Skovoroda is most famous in the field of philosophy, even earning the sobriquet of the ‘Ukrainian Socrates’.

Skovoroda was born on 3rd December 1772. His musical talents were discovered early in life, and he joined the imperial choir performing in Moscow, St Petersburg and in the Hungarian Empire. The love of travelling never left, and he spend the last part of his life walking around Ukraine, rarely staying in one place too long. Skovoroda adopted a simple, hermit-like existence, writing and studying.

A good video introduction may be found on YouTube. Skovoroda’s writings are described as “simple and straightforward.”

Themes of moralising, the inner struggle between good and evil permeate his metaphysical philosophy.

A piece of music attributed to Skovoroda may be accessed here:

Skovoroda died on 9th November 1794. In 2006, his image was placed on a Ukrainian bank note.