Taras Shevchenko. Shevchenko among friends. Colored paper, sepia, Chinese white (26 × 19.3 cm). [VII – VIII 1851]. Taras Shevchenko National Museum, inv. g – 296.
Below left on depicted book – author's date: 1851. In the hands of the central figure – sheet with contour sketch of drawing "Gypsy".
Ink inscription on the back: In white jacket sitting at the table Shevchenko and sharping a pencil; in front of him is his friend – sitter naked to the hips and considers drawn. (It is drawn in the exile)
Sepia executed during Kara-Tau expedition.
The picture seen in Shevchenko in 1852 in Novopetrovsk fort N. F. Savichev:
"… under his arm – portfolio that he took the time to open, but when opened – I dug through the eyes of the first picture. It represented the interior of the Kyrgyz tent. At the bottom of tent vault inserted Russian window, allowing the natural beam reflected by microscopic dust particles. It is understood that the window was adaptation to painter given favorable light on. Under the window, at the table, sit, shaded tones, as an accessory, Shevchenko himself, with a drawing pen in hand (not with a brush), and a close look at the aspiring "nature". This nature was in the middle of the tent – half-naked man in leather Kyrgyz trousers, his back to the viewer. Artist recalled in the steppe about academic classes needed torso… Oh, and he made this torso! – Picture taken sepia on colored paper, and the glare passed Chinese whitewash… Anatomy, relief – lovely! – This figure would have received the highest score in the academy, as an amateur connoisseur would have given him a generous money. Lieutenant Turno served as an artist's model, a member of a Mangyshlak scientific expedition" [newspaper "Cossack messenger", Novocherkassk, 1884, № 53 – 54]
The mention in the description on the window, which is actually not in the picture, can be explained by the fact that Savichev wrote his memories long after meeting with Shevchenko and could be confused the details of this sepia with a sepia «Shevchenko draws a friend" reproduced in 1876 in the journal "Bee", № 6.
For the interior uses, obviously, inside view of Kazakh tent in which Shevchenko, Turno and Zaleski, according to the latter, lived three summer 1851. Drawing done until July, when Shevchenko could grow a beard (see also "Self-portrait").
In the literature, this picture is wrong dated 1856 – 1857.
Known as "Scene of exile life" [V. G[orlenko], Pictures and etchings by Shevchenko, "Kyiv antiquity", K., 1888, Vol. VI, p. 82], "The exiled" ["The exhibition pictures and etchings in the halls of emperor's Academy of Arts", December 1909 – the January 1910, St. Petersburg, P. 20, № 200], "Shevchenko sitting round the table and draws a friend…" [A. Novitsky, Taras Shevchenko as a painter, Lviv – Moscow, 1914, p. 39], "Shevchenko and his comrades in a yurt" ["Product painting art Shevchenko, exhibited in Galleries", Kharkiv, 1934, p. 29], "Shevchenko in exile among the comrades" [A. Beskin, Shevchenko as an artist, " Art", Moscow, 1939, № 2, p. 32], "Among the companions in a yurt" [S. E. Raevsky, Life and works of artist Taras Shevchenko, X., 1939, Table 59], "Shevchenko in Orsk barracks" [I. Balyasna, Shevchenko-artist, "Scientific literature collection Odessa State University", Odessa, 1939, p. 248], "Trio – Shevchenko, Zaleski and Turno" [V. F. Anisov, A new fact from the biography of Shevchenko, "Journal of the Academy of Sciences of the UkrSSR", 1953, № 1, p. 71].
This drawing some researchers mistakenly identified with sepia "Trio" [V. F. Anisov op. cit.; Leonid Hynkulov, Lingering confusion, "Soviet Ukraine", K., 1957, № 12, p. 165 – 168].
Storage areas: property of V. M. Lazarevsky, E. M. Tevyashov, A. Felten, State Russian Museum, Leningrad, Institute of Taras Shevchenko, Kharkiv – Kyiv, Gallery of pictures Shevchenko, Kharkiv.
In 1909 – 1910 display at an exhibition of prints and drawings at the Academy of Arts (Product, № 200), in 1951 – the exhibition of fine arts Ukrainian SSR in Moscow (catalog, p. 105).
G. P. Palamarchuk
After publication: Taras Shevchenko Complete Works in 10 volumes. – Kyiv: ed. Academy of sciences of UkrSSR, 1964, Vol. 9, № 15 (image), p. 14 – 16 (note).