Painting Easter Eggs, 1949

Painting Easter eggs, Kingston, Ontario

Queen’s University Archives, George Lilley fonds V25.5 9-18-1” and titled “Ukranian Woman Painting Easter Eggs, 1949″



Easter is here again, and with it comes our various traditions for celebration. This photograph, taken by George Lilley in 1949, depicts an unidentified Ukrainian woman painting some eggs for Easter. Easter egg painting is an interesting part of Ukrainian folk art, and is a tradition that dates back to antiquity. The most common symbol found on Ukrainian Easter eggs (or “pysanky”) is the stylized sun, but many other symbols are used too such as flowers, the tree of life, and animals. The designs on the eggs are created using a batik method in which the patterns are drawn on the egg with wax, and then the dye is applied. By repeating the process with different colours of dye, a multi-coloured pattern is created.

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