Nikolai Vasilievich Gogol[a] (31 March 1809 – 4 March 1852) was a Russian dramatist of Ukrainian origin.
Although Gogol was considered by his contemporaries to be one of the preeminent figures of the natural school of Russian literary realism, later critics have found in his work a fundamentally romantic sensibility, with strains of surrealism and the grotesque ("The Nose", "Viy", "The Overcoat", "Nevsky Prospekt"). His early works, such as Evenings on a Farm Near Dikanka, were influenced by his Ukrainian upbringing, Ukrainian culture and folklore. His later writing satirised political corruption in the Russian Empire (The Government Inspector, Dead Souls). The novel Taras Bulba (1835) and the play Marriage (1842), along with the short stories "Diary of a Madman", "The Tale of How Ivan Ivanovich Quarreled with Ivan Nikiforovich", "The Portrait" and "The Carriage", are also among his best-known works.
Solomon Naumovich Rabinovich, better known under his pen name Sholem Aleichem (Yiddish and Hebrew: שלום עליכם, also spelled שאָלעם־אלייכעם in Soviet Yiddish; Russian and Ukrainian: Шо́лом-Але́йхем) (March 2 [O.S. February 18] 1859 – May 13, 1916), was a leading Yiddish author and playwright. The musical Fiddler on the Roof, based on his stories about Tevye the Dairyman, was the first commercially successful English-language stage production about Jewish life in Eastern Europe. The Hebrew phrase שלום עליכם (shalom aleichem) literally means "[May] peace [be] upon you!", and is a greeting in traditional Hebrew and Yiddish.
Anna Andreyevna Gorenko (23 June [O.S. 11 June] 1889 – 5 March 1966), better known by the pen name Anna Akhmatova (/ɑːkˈmɑːtɔːvə/; Russian: Анна Ахматова, IPA: [ɐxˈmatəvə]), was one of the most significant Russian poets of the 20th century. She was shortlisted for the Nobel Prize in 1965 and received second-most (three) nominations for the award the following year.
Akhmatova's work ranges from short lyric poems to intricately structured cycles, such as Requiem (1935–40), her tragic masterpiece about the Stalinist terror. Her style, characterised by its economy and emotional restraint, was strikingly original and distinctive to her contemporaries. The strong and clear leading female voice struck a new chord in Russian poetry. Her writing can be said to fall into two periods – the early work (1912–25) and her later work (from around 1936 until her death), divided by a decade of reduced literary output. Her work was condemned and censored by Stalinist authorities and she is notable for choosing not to emigrate, and remaining in Russia, acting as witness to the events around her. Her perennial themes include meditations on time and memory, and the difficulties of living and writing in the shadow of Stalinism.
Mikhail Afanasyevich Bulgakov (Russian: Михаи́л Афана́сьевич Булга́ков, 15 May [O.S. 3 May] 1891 – 10 March 1940) was a Russian writer, medical doctor and playwright active in the first half of the 20th century. He is best known for his novel The Master and Margarita, published posthumously, which has been called one of the masterpieces of the 20th century.
Kazimir Severinovich Malevich (February 23 [O.S. 11] 1879 – May 15, 1935) was a Russian avant-garde artist and art theorist, whose pioneering work and writing had a profound influence on the development of non-objective, or abstract art, in the 20th century. Born in Kiev to an ethnic Polish family, his concept of Suprematism sought to develop a form of expression that moved as far as possible from the world of natural forms (objectivity) and subject matter in order to access "the supremacy of pure feeling" and spirituality. Malevich is considered to be part of Ukrainian avant-garde together with Alexander Archipenko, Vladimir Tatlin, Sonia Delaunay, Aleksandra Ekster, David Burliuk that was shaped by Ukrainian born artists who worked first in Ukraine and later over geographical span between Europe and America.