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Taras Shevchenko

Encyclopedia of the life and works


Liberation of St.Peter from prison

Taras Shevchenko. Liberation of…

Taras Shevchenko. Liberation of St.Peter from prison. [1833 (?). St. Petersburg].
Paper, italian pencil, sepia, coal. 25,9 × 21,4 cm
Taras Shevchenko National Museum, № g-616.

Right below half-erased signature: Шевченк[о], confirmed in 1952 by the Kiev Research Institute of Forensic Examination [Conclusion of the Kiev Research Institute of judicial examination of the Ministry of Justice of the USSR from August 15, 1952 is stored in the National Museum of Taras Shevchenko] and blind date in the arts field work, the last digit of which is read "3" or "7" with the horizontal top element, ie "1833" or "1837". Motivation of probable dating of the picture given below.

On the back, as evidenced in the museum documents of 1933, was the inscription in coal pencil: Тарасъ Шевченко. After restoration in 1955 it is unreadable [In the act of restoration workshop of the Ministry of Culture of USSR on December 19, 1955 listed undertaken restoration work – lengthening of the edges of the sheet, doubling the paper, chemical processing and its other way to explain the disappearance of label. Remain in Taras Shevchenko National Museum].

Plot picture is the story of the biblical King Herod, who, pursuing Christians imprisoned by the Apostle Peter. At night, when Peter slept, angel of the Lord, the light dawned prison and condemned to death the apostle was released. [Acts, 12, 6 – 7].

A.P. Novitsky linked plot drawing with a work of Raphael, calling it an "Angel brings up ap. Peter from prison. A copy of Raphael. Sepia, ink and pencil on gray paper" [T. Shevchenko Complete Works. – [Kharkiv, 1932. – T. 8]. – P. 26. – № 207. – Tab. 24].

For this work was expressed speculation that it was a random copy of the painting by P.V. Basin, which he painted in Rome, with frescoes by Raphael (d'Elidoro hall in the Vatican). A copy of the Basin in 1829 was transferred from the Hermitage to the Academy of Arts as a guide for training exercises [Collection of materials for history of Emperor's St. Peterburg Academy of Arts for a hundred years of existence / Edited by P.N. Petrov. – SPb., 1865. – P. 2. – S. 235; T. Shevchenko Complete Works in 10 vols. – K., 1963. – T. 10. – S. 125. – № 399]. However, Shevchenko at the first time of staying in V.G. Shiryaev have not been able to copy in the walls of the Academy of Arts.

Shevchenko's work was probably exercise of copying "original", what then began teaching artists. V.G. Shiryaev, as the first master teacher of Shevchenko, taught his students painting and illustration, including paint mythological and historical figures [W. Sudak Early work of Shevchenko the artist: With a new searches // The chronicle of respect and love. – K., 1989. – S. 114]. It is for these exercises with up and needed prints. About prints of works by Raphael, which were owned by Shiryaev, Shevchenko mentioned in the story "Artist" and then could use they.

Figure by Shevchenko is a free reminiscence of central part of Raphael's triptych, probably depicted in the print. It has no bars on the prison windows, the two figures of guards in metal armor with chains in their hands, chained to the apostle, no shine with bright rays around Angel and others.

While some technical uncertainty student clearly visible creative approach to exercise. This may be prompted Shevchenko to sign picture.

With the above in 1833 or 1837, one can give preference to 1833, when Shevchenko has served in Shiryaev initial training exercises. The date 1837 can not accept, for works from that year, with the extent of skill that the artist is no longer needed educational copying.

Motivation to return the picture section "Works arbitrarily attributed to T.H. Shevchenko" to the main set of works reasonably reflected in the article by V.M. Yatsyuk where the work is dated 1834 – 1837 [Yatsyuk V. Painting – my profession. Sketches about Shevchenko. – K., 1982. – S. 277, 292 – 296]

V. M. Yatsyuk's opinion to return to the main set of Shevchenko works shares A.I. Shevchenko, though, based on the conclusion of the visual inspection of the work restoration workshop in 1992 [Conclusion of the state of research restoration workshop of the USSR Ministry of Culture October 28, 1992 saved in Taras Shevchenko National Museum] believes it created in 1836 [Shevchenko A. Picture of the Liberation of the Apostle Peter with a dungeon. Return attribution to Taras Shevchenko // Literary Ukraine. – 2002. – March 7]

Put into scientific use in 1900 with the name "St. Apostle Peter" [Catalog of V. Tarnowski's Museum of Ukrainian antiquity / arranged by B.D. Grinchenko. – Chernigov, 1900. – T. 2. – S. 190. – № 388].

Reproduced for the first time in 1914 by A.P. Novitsky called "The Apostle Peter in prison" [Novitsky, Ol. Taras Shevchenko as a painter. – Lviv, Moscow, 1914. – S. 73. – Tab. 69].

Storage areas: collection of V.V. Tarnowskі; from 1899 – V. Tarnowski's Chernihiv Museum of Ukrainian Antiquities, 1925 – Chernihiv Historical Museum, 1933 – Gallery of pictures by T.H. Shevchenko (Kharkiv), from 1948 – State Museum of T.H. Shevchenko (Kyiv).

O.I. Shevchenko, V.A. Sudak

After publication: T.H. Shevchenko Complete Works in 12 volumes. – K.: Naukova Dumka, 2003, v. 7, p. 18 – 19 (image), p. 356 – 358 (notes).