Taras Shevchenko. Fort Kara Butak. Watercolour (20,4 29,5 cm). [21.V 1848 – 15.I 1850] Taras Shevchenko National Museum, inv. g – 873.
In the story "Gemini" Shevchenko mentions Fort Kara Butak.
A. I. Butakov in a letter to A. S. Menshikov from 28.VI 1848 wrote about this: "Our group go to the steppe May 11 and 21 arrived at the Kara-Butak where already withdrawn wall of the new fort… we spent the day here" [Central State Archive of the Navy of the USSR, Leningrad, fund 19, file 32, fol. 12].
According to A.I. Maksheev, Fort Kara Butak founded May 21, 1848, and completed by October 1848:
"In the Kara-Butak we rested the whole day. The fort was already finished, it was built on a steep, rocky bank of the river of the same name, in the form of a redoubt… In one corner of the rampart placed a gun, and in the other is located watchtower. Inside the fort barracks made from wood imported from the line… From a distance, the fort was like a knight's castle" [A. Maksheev, Traveling on the Kyrgyz steppes and Turkestan, St. Petersburg, 1896, p. 31, 76, 78 – 79]
Period of making picture set by the residence time of the expedition in the Kara-Butak and finishing of A. I. Butakov's report on expedition – 15.I 1850, as evidenced by a report A. I. Butakov to battalion No 2 commander of the Orenburg line [Institute of Literature, fund 1, № 406, fol. 77].
Sketch in pencil to this watercolor see number 142.
A copy of this watercolor (possibly by hand O. M. Butakova) is in an Obruchev's album [Taras Shevchenko National Museum, inv. g – 788].
Repetition of certain parts of this watercolor see in the album G.N. Chernyshev [The State Historical Museum, Moscow, inv. 63113, portfolio Number 19, fol. 83].
Storage areas: property of Obruchev, State Russian Museum, Leningrad, Gallery of pictures Shevchenko, Kharkiv, Taras Shevchenko Central Museum, Kyiv.
In 1939 exhibited at the Republican Shevchenko anniversary exhibition, Kyiv (Catalog, p. 49, № 256);
In 1951 – the exhibition Art of the Ukrainian SSR in Moscow (catalog, p. 105).
K. V. Chumak
After publication: Taras Shevchenko Complete Works in 10 volumes. – Kyiv: ed. Academy of sciences of UkrSSR, 1962, vol. 8, № 3 (image), p. 5 – 6 (notes).