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Taras Shevchenko

Encyclopedia of the life and works


Alexander the Great shows trust to doctor Philip

Taras Shevchenko. Alexander the Great…

Taras Shevchenko. Alexander the Great shows trust to doctor Philip. 1836. [St. Petersburg].
Watercolour, ink. 25,9 × 35,7 cm.
Taras Shevchenko National Museum, № g-890.

The back – etudes "Feet".

Left bottom author's date and signature in ink: 1836. Шевченко.

The plot was recommended in 1830 by Academy of Arts for competition for the gold medal [Collection of materials for history Emperor's St. Peterburg Academy of Arts for a hundred years of existence / Edited by P.N. Petrov. – SPb., 1865. – P. 2. – S. 251 – 252]. As historical source to create a picture Shevchenko could use book "History of Alexandre the Great" by Quintus Curtius, published in Russia in several translations.

The picture shows a patient Alexander, who received a slip about the intention his physician Philip to poison him, but did not believe this, and handing the note to Philip, drink his medication.

The back of board, to which before the restoration in 1955 was sticked picture, contained label with the text: 10 et 12 Place Breda. R. Hombert Fil. Doreur sur Bois. Cadres Dares et Noire et Or. Specialie Denc adrements. Paris. So, just as other, this work was in Paris (see comment "Death of Lucretia") and son of V.A.Zhukovsky – Paul V. – could transfer it to the Russian artist O. Bogoljubov, who since 1873 lived in Paris. In the Bogoljubov's collection in 1885 it was moved to Saratov Radyschevs' museum.

First mentioned in 1886 [The index of Radyschevs' Museum in Saratov. – Saratov, 1886. – S. 100. – № 25] with a false name "Death of Socrates." Since 1911 it content was associated with an episode from the life of Alexander the Great [Memorial Taras Shevchenko. – Uman, 1911. – S. 24].

First comment 1932 by A.P. Novitsky [T. Shevchenko Complete Works. – [Kharkiv, 1932. – T. 8]. – S. 20. – № 175th].

Reproduced for the first time in 1937 [Painting and Sculpture. – 1937. – № 3.-p.2]

Storage areas: from 1940 – Central Museum of T.H. Shevchenko (Kyiv); from 1948 – State Museum of T.H. Shevchenko (Kyiv).


1939. Kyiv. Shevchenko Jubilee Exhibition [Republican Shevchenko Jubilee Exhibition in Kiev: Product-guide. – K., 1941. – S. 18. – № 85];

1964. Kyiv – Moscow. Shevchenko Jubilee Exhibition [Jubilee art exhibition on the 150-year anniversary of the birth of T.H. Shevchenko: Product. – Kiev, 1964. – S. 5];

1968. Prague. Shevchenko exhibition [Taras Ševčenko: Výstava o životĕ a díle. – [Prague 1968]. – № 1/1];

I.M. Verykivska

After publication: T.H. Shevchenko Complete Works in 12 volumes. – K.: Naukova Dumka, 2003, v. 7, p. 28 – 29 (image), p. 361 (notes).

Additional images