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Taras Shevchenko

Encyclopedia of the life and works


Death of Bogdan Khmelnitsky

Taras Shevchenko. Death of Bogdan…

Taras Shevchenko. Death of Bohdan Khmelnytsky. [1836 – 1837. St. Petersburg].
Paper, ink, brush. 30,8 × 45,2 cm
Taras Shevchenko National Museum, № g-903.

On the reverse an inscription in pencil bottom left: 10 rubles., along the lower edge: 595 and half-erased inscription, which is read:… 50 ju… The back mounting sheet (stored in the National Museum of Taras Shevchenko) is a pencil inscription made by Dennis Zaleski, the son of Polish poet Jozef Bohdan Zaleski: Śmierć Hetmana Bohdana Chmielnickiego przez Tarasa Szewczenka [Death of Bohdan Khmelnytsky of Taras Shevchenko (Polish)]. Here:

W tomie 4ym pism Bohdana Zaleskiego, strona 104, znajduje sie wzmianka określona przez autora o tym obrazie: «s.p. Konstanty Swidzinski na kilka dni przed skonem przysłał mi takoż miły upominek po Szewczence: oryginalną akwarellę śmierci Bohdana Chmielnickiego i szkic olowkiem godów Kozackich.

[In 4th Volume of Bohdan Zaleski works, p. 104, is mentioned this picture: "Blessed Memory Konstantin Swidzinski a few days before his death also sent me a nice remembrance of Shevchenko: original watercolor death of Khmelnytsky and pencil sketch Cossack feast" (Polish). Quoted from the edition: Zaleski Józef Bohdan. Pisma. – Lwów. – 1877. The above picture – Cossack feast".

The picture shows the moment of transfer hetman Bohdan Khmelnytsky Kleynods to his son George. The tragic event in Ukraine's history, was witnessed by officers and colonels and tsar Alexei Mikhailovich delegates to negotiate with the Khmelnitsky governor F. Buturlin and duma's lecturer V. Mikhailov, described extensively by D.M. Bantysh-Kamensky ["History of Little Russia" D.N. Bantysh-Kamensko. – M., 1822, M., 1830; K., 1993. – P. 215 – 220]. On the transfer of mace to Yuri Khmelnytsky told also in the handwritten lists History of Rusy [History of Rusy or Little Russia. Work by George Konysky. – M., 1846; History Rusov. – K., 1991. – S. 188-190], in the epic "Death of Bohdan Khmelnytsky and the election of George as hetman", published in 1834 by M.A. Maksimovich [Maksimovich M. Ukrainian people's songs. – M., 1834] and I.I. Sreznevsky [Sreznevsky I. Zaporizhia antiquity. – Kharkiv, 1834. – P. 2. – S. 43 – 45].

The plot works, just as done in 1836 pattern "Death of Oleg, Prince drevlyan" indicates a movement of Shevchenko's artistic interests from completed in 1835 – 1837 academic drawings on ancient history to those dedicated important pages in the history of Ukraine.

Tentatively dated 1836 – 1837.

First mentioned in 1865 by B. Zaleski [«Wiersze oratorium» Bohdana Zaleskiego. – Paris, 1865. – C. 226], who spoke on the transfer of Shevchenko's drawings "Death of Bohdan Khmelnytsky" and "Cossack feast" from K. Swidzinski. Thoroughly described and reproduced in 1940 by S.E. Raevsky [S. Raevsky Unknown historical pictures by Shevchenko // Imaging art. – 1940. – № 3. – S. 14, 16].

Storage areas: property K.Swidzinski; from 1855 – Bohdan Zaleski; later – Dennis Zaleski, since 1930 – an Ossolinski's collection in Lviv, in 1938 – Lviv branch of Academic library, 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. – № 86];

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];

1984. Kyiv. Shevchenko-artist. 170-th birthday [Shevchenko-artist: Exhibition Catalogue. – K., 1986. – S. 7 – 8].

I.M. Verykivska

After publication: T.H. Shevchenko Complete Works in 12 volumes. – K.: Naukova Dumka, 2003, v. 7, p. 30 – 31 (image), p. 362 – 363 (notes).