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Taras Shevchenko

Encyclopedia of the life and works


Grebinka Eugene

Eugene Grebinka (21 Jan (2 Feb) 1812 – 3 (15) Dec 1848) – Ukrainian poet-fabulist and novelist.

Apollo Mokritsky. Portrait of E. P.…

Apollo Mokritsky. (1840).

He was born on a farm Ubizhysche (now – village Marianivka Grebinka district, Poltava region) in the family of a retired officer. In 1825 – 1831 years he studied at Nizhyn high school, in 1831 – 1834 years was in the military. In 1834, taking retirement, he moved to St. Petersburg, which had involved in the Russian literary life. Here he lived almost continuously until the end of his short life. He died of tuberculosis and was buried in his home village.

His literary work started in the training at the school. It is clearly divided into two periods. The first period lasted until 1834, when it was written major works of Ukrainian language (fables, poetry, translation of Pushkin's poem "Poltava"). The result of this period was summed publication of the book "Little-russian proverbs" (SPb.: 1834).

In the second period (1834 – 1848) Grebinka turns into Russian and becomes fruitful, though not very prominent Russian writer. During this period strongly dominated prose, which is easy to see the strong influence of N. V. Gogol.

In Petersburg Grebinka discovered another side of his abilities – the organizer of literary life and publisher. His literary salon met almost all St. Petersburg writers.

Grebinka and Shevchenko

1. Approximately in 1835 artist Soshenko presented E. Grebinka his new friend – a serf Taras Shevchenko. Grebinka started giving books Shevchenko – works of fiction, publications folklore, historical works – so helped self-education Shevchenko.

2. With Grebinka Shevchenko met with the artist Venetsianov and then the poet Zhukovsky. Thus Grebinka contributed redemption Shevchenko from serfdom.

3. After liberation from serfdom Shevchenko began attending Grebinka’s literary salon, where he met with senior writers and cultural figures of the time.

4. In 1838 Grebinka began collecting works of Ukrainian writers, had intended to print them as almanac. Shevchenko gave him to publish 6 his works, 5 of which were published in 1841 in the anthology "Swallow" (poetry "Taras’ night" was omitted in the printed text of the almanac). Shevchenko helped Grebinka in preparation of the anthology, including edited fable P. Pisarevsky "Dog and Thief".

5. Grebinka, in turn, helped Shevchenko in preparation for printing "Kobzar" 1840. In this edition poetry "Perebendya" devoted to E. Grebinka .

6. In 1843, while in Ukraine, Shevchenko met with Grebinka. They visited the farm Ubizhysche and village Mojsivka, which on June 29 was a prom in estate of T. G. Volkhovska. This Shevchenko extended circle of friends among the Ukrainian nobility, met, particularly with A. Afanasiev-Chuzhbynsky.

7. Grebinka valued the work of Shevchenko; for his novel "Tchaikovsky" (1843) took the epigraph of Shevchenko’s poems.

8. Please be aware that among the paintings Shevchenko two erroneously considered as portraits E. Grebinka. If first of them relatively quickly was interpreted as a portrait A. I. Lyzogub, the second to our days reprinted as "portrait of E. Grebinka" (actually portrayed person remains unknown).

N. Zh., June 23, 2016.