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Taras Shevchenko

Encyclopedia of the life and works

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Corner of Smolensk cemetery

Taras Shevchenko. Corner of Smolensk…

Taras Shevchenko. Corner of Smolensk cemetery. [1840. St. Petersburg].
Paper, pencil, sepia. 17,8 × 26,5 cm.
Taras Shevchenko National Museum, ¹ g – 705.

On the back -"Narcissus and the nymph Echo. "Recessed". "Boy with a dog" and other sketches.

Top right ink inscription: Number 102, VI; in the upper left corner in ink: 13.

The fact that Shevchenko often drawed the Smolensk cemetery, known according to the artist himself and his contemporaries. Hero of Shevchenko's story "Artist" tells how he "walked early in the morning with Ioachim at Smolensk cemetery to draw burdock and trees".

Drawing registered in the description of Shevchenko works, prepared by G.M. Chestahivsky in 1861, at number 99 as "Figure with nature at the Smolensk cemetery" and notes: "Before Orenburg exile", "Hence this figure will be matter of long talking about Smolensk cemetery and remembrance of the artist Sternberg". In the Chestahivsky's records (published later) noted the Shevchenko's speech: "Once we then had with the late Sternberg went to Smolensk cemetery to draw burdock – it is very comely in a painting, while painted at forward position…" [From the T.H. Shevchenko's memories (Recorded by G.M. Chestahivsky) // Kievan antiquity. – 1895. – ¹ 2. – p. 139 – 141]. Perhaps it is this sketch Shevchenko used in the 1841 watercolor "Gypsy fortune-teller».

Draw with V.I. Sternberg at the Smolensk cemetery Shevchenko could only in summer 1840 – in 1838 and 1839 Sternberg was in Ukraine and in Orenburg, since 1841 has lived in Italy.

Dated approximately 1840 according to these data.

Reproduced for the first time in 1901 with the title "Cemetery" in "Sever" journal [Sever. – 1901. – ¹ 4. – 8 April. – p. 433].

Storage areas: from April 1861 – property of M.M.Lazarevsky, later purchased by St. Petersburg's Ukrainian community, not earlier than July 1861 – A.O. Kozachkovsky, not later than 1875 came to V.P. Kakhovski; from 1891 Kakhovski family, not later than 1893 transferred to S.D. Brazol; since 1898 – a collection of V. Tarnowsk³; from 1899 – V. Tarnowski's Chernihiv museum of ukrainian antiquities, 1925 – Chernihiv Historical Museum, from 1932 – Gallery of pictures by T.H. Shevchenko (Kharkiv), from 1948 – State Museum of T.H. Shevchenko (Kyiv).

Exhibition: 1974. Kyiv. Works from the collection of Taras Shevchenko [Artworks in own collection of Taras Shevchenko: Exhibition Catalogue. – K., 1974. – p. 8].

V.O. Sudak

After publication: Taras Shevchenko Complete Works in 10 volumes. – K.: ed. of Acad. Sci. of UkrSSR, 1961, t. 7, bk. 1, ¹ 25 (image); T.H. Shevchenko Complete Works in 12 volumes. – K.: Naukova Dumka, 2003, v. 7, p. 372 (notes).

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