Taras Shevchenko. Fire in the desert. Watercolour (21,4 × 29,6 cm). [No sooner 12.V] 1848. Property of S.A. Taranushenko (Kyiv)
At middle bottom of picture – ink author's signature and date: T.Shevchenko 1848.
Figure pasted on an album sheet, on which at the top right ink marked: 41.
On the upper edge of the album's sheet made pencil inscription: The original picture by Shevchenko, gifted by Mr. Schreiber.
Below the picture on the bottom edge of album's sheet made ink inscription: The view of steppe fire in Kirgiz steppe during a way of transport to fort near Aral Sea. 12th May 1848 year in competence of G.M. Shr… on the bay of Or river.
On fire in the desert during the passage of A. I. Butakov's expedition from Orsk to Raim Shevchenko says in the story "Gemini":
About this fire also tells A. I. Maksheev:
"The next day after our departure we've seen in the distance a fire, which was started by the Kirghiz in steppes to burn the old grass mat and allow unhindered grow fresh, and long admired as the first individual lights gradually merged into continuous filaments, accompanied by a strong glow. At the request of General Schreiber Shevchenko painted in watercolor this improvised illumination and presented him with his painting" [A. Maksheev, Traveling on the Kyrgyz steppes and Turkestan, St. Petersburg, 1896, p. 29].
In the literature known under the name "View of fire in Kirgiz steppes" ["Shevchenko collection", SPb., 1914, vol. 1, p. 120 – 121].
Storage areas: property of I.P. Shreyber, M. Mironov.
Sketch to this image – number 141.
K. V. Chumak
After publication: Taras Shevchenko Complete Works in 10 volumes. – Kyiv: ed. Academy of sciences of UkrSSR, 1962, vol. 8, ¹ 2 (image), p. 4 – 5 (notes).