Taras Shevchenko. Portrait of Vasily Leontievich Kochubej. Canvas (oval), oil (92 × 76.7 cm). [St.Petersburg]. [III – 25.V] 1859. Taras Shevchenko National Museum, inv. Same number – 101.
On the upper edge of the oval red paint Cyrillic inscription: General judge of his tsar's majesty zaporozhian troops Basil Kochubej.
On the bottom edge of the oval same paint date and author's signature: 1859 T. Shevchenko.
The portrait was commissioned to Shevchenko by P. A. Kochubej for gift V. Tarnowskі [see. M. Shugurov, Review of the article: V. P. Gorlenko "Shevchenko – painter and printmaker," "Kyiv antiquity", 1893, Vol. VI, p. 134].
About working on a portrait of Kochubej writed B. G. Sukhanov-Podkolzin:
"I remember that one day I found Taras in a large vanity. He was going to paint in oil painting portrait of the famous Kochubej, commissioned by one of his descendants… About the same Kochubej, one of the lessons was that we, climbing on some huge academic semi-stockroom, semi-attic, rummaging in general chaos dusty old pictures to find some portraits of some of Hetman Little Russia, that he [Shevchenko] required to depict Kochubej's suit. After a long search… we dug some old master, and curly, calling it somehow "Mazeppa," solemnly dragged into the studio. Artists visiting Shevchenko unanimously praised his work, which led him into a great frame of mind" [B. Sukhanov-Podkolzin, Memories on Taras Shevchenko by his accidentally disciple, "Kyiv antiquity", 1885, Vol. II, p. 233].
The portrait dates by the time the order Shevchenko 4 paintings by P. A. Kochubej (III 1859), including, apparently, a portrait of V. L. Kochubej [see A. N. Belozersky Taras Grigorevich Shevchenko in memories of different persons (1831 – 1861), "Kyiv antiquity", 1882, Vol. X, p. 74] and time of departure Shevchenko from St. Petersburg to Ukraine on May 25, 1859. The fact that the portrait was passed to customer before departure to Ukraine, approved by a letter to L. Tarnowska to V. Tarnowskі (junior) on July 24, 1859: "Portrait Kochubeja Hetman received from Peter Arcadievich, but we need to put lacquer on it and then send it to you" (Tarnowski's archive in Chernihiv historical Museum).
In the literature is also found under the title: "Elderly Ukrainian", "Elderly maloross."
Storage areas: property of P. A. Kochubej, V. V. Tarnowskі, V. Tarnowski's Chernihiv museum of ukrainian antiquities, Chernihiv Regional History Museum, Gallery of pictures Shevchenko, Kharkiv, Central Museum of Taras Shevchenko, Kyiv.
V. Ja. Tkachenko
After publication: Taras Shevchenko Complete Works in 10 volumes. – Kyiv: ed. Academy of sciences of UkrSSR, 1963, v. 10, № 35 (image), p. 24 (note).