As unfound works of Taras Shevchenko include those mentioned in various sources: in the letters of Shevchenko and different people to him, in the memoirs of contemporaries, in archival sources and literary works.
Compilators of the list should determine the extent to which these sources relating to lost or not found really works and where – to works wrongly attributed to Taras Shevchenko.
Particular difficult in this respect are sources such as Shevchenko's prose.
In the autobiographical story "The Artist", for example, mentions a number of drawings, paintings and portraits, which were allegedly made by Shevchenko while studying at the Academy of Arts. But not all are referred there as unfound works.
Performance by Shevchenko such works as "Figure with nature", "Orphan boy with a dog charity shares under the fence", confirmed by documentary materials. It is probable statements, and that Shevchenko performed a series of pictures of the statues in the Summer Garden ("Fraklit", "Heraclitus", "Saturn", "Apollo Belvedere"), sketches of skeleton and anatomical specimens, drawings from plaster casts and copies of antique sculptures that were at the Academy of Fine Arts ("Fortunato mask", "Laocoon mask", "Head of Lucius Verus", "Dancing Fawn", etc.), copies of contemporary engravings ("Hercules Farneze", "Apollino"), and as some sketches, portraits, scene compositions, and others. Figure well known in the literature as "Antinous on four sides" is referred to as the prescribed non-existent, because the name was due to editorial oversight in the publication of the text of the story "The Artist" in 1887.
The mention in the story "Artist" on the implementation of such works as "Head of girl Pasha", "Vestal", "Joseph interprets the dreams of his friends-prisoners", "Andromache over the body of Patroclus" and others, obviously, is the artistic speculation, because even in this not all of the episodes in the story "The Artist" coincide with the facts of Shevchenko's life.
The list of unfound works are not included unrealized picture "Dancing girls Natasha and Lisa", referred to in the story "The Musician".
In "examination" books of Petersburg Academy of Arts recorded more than thirty works of Shevchenko made in 1838 – 1844, with indication of their assessment. However, these registers are so common that it is impossible to link (with some few exceptions) the records to known images. So, one can not set the fact that the registered examination papers should be attributed to unfound.
In the album "Picturesque Ukraine", Vol. 1 Shevchenko placed an announcement that "in 1845 will be printed follows: 1st. Views of Chyhyryn, Subotiv, Baturin, Intercession church at Sich. 2nd. Burial the young girl (bride); O Oh chumak seven years went over the Don river (song); Perezva (wedding rite) and harvest. 3rd. Ivan Pidkova in Lviv, Sava Chalyj, Paul Polubotok in St. Petersburg, Semen Palij in Siberia". Obviously, all these twelve names must refer to unrealized creative ideas.
We does not include to this list those lost works of Shevchenko, from which are preserved prints as copies, prints on wood or metal, in the form of photographs or drawings printed in various publications, including: "Catholic monk", "Witch Doctor", thirty-two illustrations of the "History of the Suvorov", "Blind" ("Slave"), twelve portraits of Russian generals, "Portrait of an unknown in blue dress", "Portrait of Olena Antonovna Afendyk" and "Portrait of an elderly woman with a boy".
All works included in the list are described on the same principle as the works available. The only difference in the completeness of data depended only on the nature of the sources on which the given record.