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Taras Shevchenko

Encyclopedia of the life and works


The history of Suvorov (1842)

Illustrations to book "History of Suvorov" by N.A.Polevoj. [1841 – 1842. St. Petersburg]. Reproduced by polytypages in the book. The size of each artwork in the comments. Sheet size – 25 × 16 cm.

In the book "History of Suvorov" [History of Prince of Italy, Count Suvorov of Rymnik, generalissimo of Russian troops. Work by N.A.Polevoj. – St. Petersburg, 1843] published on the frontispiece portrait of A. Suvorov and 110 illustrations between text, miniatures and tailpieces, performed (as described in the book title) by artists O.E. Kotzebue, R.K. Zhukovsky, T.G. Shevchenko. Kotzebue's pictures are mostly battle-content, Zhukovsky made a portrait of Suvorov, landscapes, miniatures and tailpieces, and Shevchenko – genre scenes. Some of his pictures are not affiliated with the text of book. The Polevoj's text has not yet been completed, and the artist at work used historical sources directly. Author and artist probably worked at one time.

The number of illustrations, which Shevchenko made to this edition, as established by different authors varies because not all of them had signed by author. In 1900, first noted that the V. Tarnowski's museum in Chernihiv retained 30 engravings from drawings Shevchenko for "History of Suvorov" [Catalog of V. Tarnowski's Museum of Ukrainian antiquity / arranged by B.D. Grinchenko. – Chernigov, 1900. – Vol. 2. – p. 198. – № 473.]. In later sources was called from 27 [Novitsky Ol. Taras Shevchenko as a painter. – Lviv, Moscow, 1914. – p. 74. – № 544] to 32 illustrations [Vladych L. The image of Suvorov in pictures of Shevchenko / / Soviet Art. – 1950. – March 1; Taras Shevchenko Complete Works in 10 volumes. – K.: 1961, vol. 7, Bk. 1. – p. 21. – № 40 – 71].

Twenty-six illustrations in the book have Shevchenko's sign. Belonging to him two unsigned illustrations confirmed by the presence of Shevchenko's sketches for them. Five unsigned artwork stylistically quite complain to a Shevchenko's manner, have many details, identical with the details of signed illustrations, and in common with other drawings of Shevchenko. Illustration "Liberty trees cut down" commented the first time here. All 33 artworks of Shevchenko submitted.

Woodcuts after Shevchenko's pictures were engraved in Paris by Andrew, Best and Leloir who had there xylographic firm that performed prints for Russia too [Lehman I. I. Engraving and lithography. – St. Petersburg, 1913. – p. 45], in St. Petersburg some prints were performed by Lavielle. Original illustrations not found. Preserved only a few sketches and drafts. sketch "Soldier rescues Suvorov" to the scene on page 35 was not used for illustrations in the book.

The work on illustrations Shevchenko probably began in 1841. This refers to outline to one of the illustrations on the same sheet as the sketch for the painting "Centurion's daughter" on which the artist worked, as he said in a letter to G.F. Kvitka-Osnovjanenko on December 8, 1841.

The "Literary Gazette" reported: "History of Suvorov will consist of three issues that come into the world one by one, without a significant break in time" [Literary Gazette. – 1842. – 13 December].

The first part of the publication (112 pages), which contain nine Shevchenko's illustrations, was sent to subscribers in December 1842 [Northern Bee. – 1842. – 14 December] The author obviously prepared them from the late 1841 and early 1842.

Twelve illustrations for the second part of the book Shevchenko made probably in the summer of 1842 – no later than early August. This confirms by the letter one of the publishers' V.S. Semenenko-Kramarevsky to Shevchenko, in which he gave an explanation of some figures that have been included to the second part, and pointed out: "These figures should be ready for the 1st of August certainly" [Letters to Taras Shevchenko. – K., 1993. – p. 14].

Forty-four pages of manuscript of second part N.A.Polevoj passed to the censorship August 7, 1842 [Russian state historical archive, fund 777, op. 27, № 206] The second part was sent to subscribers in April 1843 [Northern Bee. – 1843. – 15 April]

Over twelve illustrations to the third part of book artist worked tentatively in August – September, 1842. Anonymous author of "Literary Gazette" [Literary Gazette. – 1842. – 12 July] indicated that Polevoj at this time finished writing the text. Explanation of N.A.Polevoj to one of the last illustrations in the book – "Awards of Louis XVIII" written on the back of receipts Peter Beck of receiving money from Shevchenko, dated September 4, 1842, which gives reason to refine the dating of figures [Sudak V.A. Participation of Shevchenko in illustrations of Russian book editions // Artistic heritage of T.H. Shevchenko. – K., 1959. – p. 39; Sudak V.A.. Pages of T.H. Shevchenko-illustrator // Folk art and ethnography. – 1989. – № 1. – p. 8].

This part was sent to subscribers in July 1843 [Northern Bee. – 1843. – 27 July].

The publication was prepared by a whole book too. Since June 1843 N.A.Polevoj recorded in his diary: "Bring to Korsakov the manuscript of Suvorov" [Diary of N.A.Polevoj. 1838 – 1845 // Historical Journal. – 1888. – April. – p. 165; N.A.Polevoj (From the notes of Baron F. A. Buhler) / / Russian Antiquity. – 1871. – December. – p. 675, 677]. Permission to print the book was given to censor P. Korsakov June 7, 1843.

While working on the illustrations to "History of Suvorov", as to the book "Russian commanders" Shevchenko enjoyed the original lifetime portrait of Suvorov (1800, pastel) of Johann Heinrich Schmidt, which then belonged to Baron A.J. Buehler, a diplomatic official who served in A.V.Suvorov and acquired portrait from the author. After his death (1843) portrait was owned by the son of Baron – F.A. Buhler, a friend of Shevchenko [Sudak V.A. Pages of T.H. Shevchenko-illustrator. – P. 9]. Shevchenko, working on the artwork could also use and other portraits of the commander by Russian and foreign engravers (see comments to figures).

According to the memoirs of A.V. Suvorov's great-grandchild Apollinaria Aghajanov it is known that a book illustrator and, in particular, Shevchenko acquainted with memorial things of commander and documents stored in his grandson A.A. Suvorov:

"…in the evenings at Alexander Arkadevich (Suvorov. – Ed.) appeared historians Miljutin and Polevoj, artists Zhukovsky, Kotzebue, Taras Shevchenko […] with excitement guests examined awards, medals, weapons, telescope and snuff used by Suvorov» [Hruslavnov V., M. Lobodyn Saber of Suvorov. – L., 1975. – p. 108 – 109].

In review of the first issue of "History of Suvorov" highly appreciated the work of illustrators. Among the best pictures named Shevchenko's "Arrest of Pugachev", "With Khan Shahin Giray" and "Feast with nogays" [Literary Gazette. – 1842. – 20 December]. A low quality of some reproductions reviewer explained inability to print from polytypages, cast metal cliche. The newspaper reported:

"Publishers (mrs. Semenenko-Kramarevsky and Olkhin) has received a proposal to sell the pictures of these polytypages to France, Italy, Prussia, because thence booksellers want to make this "History of Suvorov" in French, Italian and German languages and translations already started".

In Russia, the book is reprinted six times with the same illustrations. The latest edition – 1904. It is known two editions with same illustrations in German [Geschichte des Fürsten Italiki Grafen Suworoff-Rimnikski. – Riga, 1850; Geschichte des Fürsten Italiki Grafen Suworoff-Rimnikski. – Elgawa, 1851].

During the life of Shevchenko in 1858, P. Lukyanov's factory in Moscow issued cheap popular prints with two images copied from the book "History of Suvorov" reprinted the same year. One of the pictures in the center of the sheet contains a portrait of Suvorov, and around in seven framework – individual illustrations from book. All seven scenes from the life of the commander submitted for Shevchenko's pictures. In the second picture, built by the same principle, from the seven scenes – three drawings by Shevchenko [Pomarnatsky A.V. Portraits of A.V. Suvorov: iconographic essay. – L., 1963. – p.146].

V.A. Sudak

It is served by publication: T.H. Shevchenko Complete Works in 12 volumes. – K.: Naukova Dumka, 2003, v. 7, p. 396 – 398 (note).