Taras Shevchenko. Garden at Novopetrovsk fort. Stained paper, watercolor (12.4 × 29.8 cm). [Novopetrovsk fort]. [Fall 1853]. Taras Shevchenko National Museum, inv. g – 271.
Left – closer to the foreground and in the depths beside the commandant house – water spray constructions.
In her memoirs about Shevchenko A. Uskova writes:
"By the fall of 1853 was delivered a lot of trees from Astrakhan and Guriev-town. From Hanga Baba brought large mulberry trees; in planting them Shevchenko took an active part. In this newly reconstituted garden has been put to me a house for summer housing, nearby was set pergola where we had dinner, and little away put a Kirghiz tent in which Shevchenko could work. My husband has made for himself dugout, which was resting after dinner, that's here Shevchenko had hidden his drawings" [Institute of Literature National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine, Department of Manuscripts, fund 77/ 124].
Date is established by comparing the pattern of fig. number 153 – "The place of the future garden near Novopetrovsk fort", made in the summer of 1853, and fig. number 39 – "The Garden at Novopetrovsk fort" with the author date "1854", which shows significantly more trees than on this watercolor.
This picture, along with other Shevchenko gifted to Uskov family, as told N. I. Uskova:
"For Uskov family on memory about the time spent with their and himself Shevchenko left portraits of commandant's wife Agafia Emelyanovna with the eldest daughter in her arms, of Katie – Natasha's nanny in the Kyrgyz costume and five landscapes: two are shown villages next to the fort, on the other two commandant's garden – in the first year of its existence and a year of the poet's departure and the fifth is a view of Novopetrovsk fort from the sea" ["Memories by N.I. Uskova on Taras Shevchenko", "Kyiv antiquity", 1889, Vol. II, p. 304 – 305].
In the literature known as "The neighborhood of Novopetrovsk fort" [G. D. Vladimirski, A. N. Savinov, Taras Shevchenko – the artist, L. – M., 1939, Tab. XXI].
Storage areas: property of Uskov family, N. I. Smoljak, Institute of Taras Shevchenko, Kharkiv – Kyiv, Gallery of pictures Shevchenko, Kharkiv.
G. P. Palamarchuk
After publication: Taras Shevchenko Complete Works in 10 volumes. – Kyiv: ed. Academy of sciences of UkrSSR, 1964, Vol. 9, № 33 (image), p. 23 (note).