Turkmen abas in Kara-Tau
Taras Shevchenko. Turkmen abas in Kara-Tau. Watercolour (16 × 29.1 cm). [20.VI 1851 – 13.V 1857]. Taras Shevchenko National Museum, inv. g – 499.
On the back at the bottom – ink inscription by hand Shevchenko: 9. Turkmen abas (tombs) in Kara-Tau.
The picture was sent by Shevchenko to Br. Zaleski for "Vilna album" (see number 58); it is repetition (with minor changes) of picture "Cemetery Agaspejar", created during Kara-Tau expedition (see number 76 and note thereto).
Images of these tombs see number 79 and 105 and in etching by Br. Zaleski "Cemetery Agaspejar" [album «La vie des steppes Kirghizes», Paris, 1865, between p. 54 – 55].
Agaspejar cemetery is located in the homonymous valley between Kara-Tau and South Ak-Tau. In the explanatory text to etching Br. Zaleski writed:
"Mausoleum, according to custom, common in this part of the desert, built of small stones, cemented by sand, clay and pottery with lime and covered with well-hewn slabs of chalk. Entrance made so low that it is necessary to bend double to get into it, it is always wide open. In a few simple tomb stones or small eminences, meaning the burial and show that in this mausoleum found the rest a few people, perhaps the whole family… Along with the great monuments in the cemetery is a large number of small monuments of all kinds, often come across as obelisk with rounded apex, covered with embossed arabesques in the Eastern spirit".
The start date is determined by the residence time of the expedition in the valley Agaspejar after the first long stop at the well Apazyr.
In the literature is found under the title: "Turkmen tomb in Kara-Tau" ["Catalogue of V. Tarnowski's museum of ukrainian antiquities", Vol. II, Chernigov, 1900, p. 181, № 262], "Turkmen abas (tombstones)» ["Product painting art Shevchenko, exhibited in Galleries, Kharkiv, 1934, p. 28].
Storage areas: V. Tarnowski's Chernihiv museum of ukrainian antiquities – № 262, Chernihiv Historical Museum, Gallery of pictures by T.H. Shevchenko (Kharkiv).
In 1929 was displayed at the exhibition of works of Taras Shevchenko in Chernihiv (Catalogue, p. 19, № 38).
I. M. Verykivska, N. P. Prokopenko
After publication: Taras Shevchenko Complete Works in 10 volumes. – Kyiv: ed. Academy of sciences of UkrSSR, 1964, Vol. 9, № 7 (image), p. 9 (note).