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Taras Shevchenko

Encyclopedia of the life and works


Mangyshlak garden, 1851 – 1852

The name of a series of drawings established after the etching by Br. Zaleski "Mangyshlak garden" [album «La vie des steppes Kirghizes», Paris, 1865, between p. 47 – 49].

Mangyshlak garden is located on a Mangyshlak peninsula (north-east coast of the Caspian Sea, now Guriev region Kazakh SSR). The surface of the peninsula is made of limestone strata, covered with cretaceous hillocks of various shapes and almost devoid of vegetation. In some areas of the peninsula, between fragments of rocks and stones, there are groves of mulberry trees. The same trees were grown near Novopetrovsk fort (see number 1928, 40, 130, 131) and in the Hanga Baba tract.

In the explanatory text to etching Br. Zaleski gived a description of the garden:

"There are hundred mulberry trees not far from the cliff "Monk", with most amazing shape, growing in crevices of a thick layer of limestone deposits… These trees are large enough, have plenty of leaves, no doubt, under the rocks, which seem hung over them, these trees rooted water – without such sources how they could grow under the passionate heavens desert, in an area completely devoid of trees?

Since building of Novopetrovsk fort mulberry grove used as a resting place" [p. 47].

In the first years staying in Novopetrovsk fort (1851 – 1852) Shevchenko repeatedly depicted Mangyshlak tree garden. These pictures seen in Shevchenko N. F. Savichev when they met in 1852: "… in the portfolio Shevchenko were sketches of stony beams, stone falls and groups of mulberry trees…" [newspaper "Cossack herald", Novocherkassk, 1884, № 53 – 54, "Literary Magazine", K., 1939, № 2, p. 118].

In the literature, these figures mostly known under the title: "The trees among the rocks" [I. Pleschynsky, Drawings and watercolors, "Visual Arts", K., 1939, № 2 – 3, p. 57; A. Beskin, Shevchenko as an artist, " Art", Moscow, 1939, № 2, p. 40], "Mangyshlak landscape" [S. Raevsky, The question of attribution and dating of some sepia Shevchenko, "Visual Arts", K., 1941, № 4, p. 30]. Images mistakenly dated 1838 – 1845 and 1847 – 1857 ["Product painting art Shevchenko, exhibited in Galleries", Kharkiv, 1934, p. 17, 29]

N. P. Prokopenko

After publication: Taras Shevchenko Complete Works in 10 volumes. – Kyiv: ed. Academy of sciences of UkrSSR, 1964, v. 9, p. 17 – 18 (note).