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Taras Shevchenko

Encyclopedia of the life and works


Death of Lucretia

Taras Shevchenko. Death of Lucretia

Taras Shevchenko. Death of Lucretia. 1835. [St. Petersburg]. Paper, ink. 34,3 × 50,3 cm. National Museum of Taras Shevchenko, № g-820.

Left bottom author's date and signature in ink: 1835 // Т. Шевченко.

At the base of the plot – an episode from the history of ancient Rome. The Roman Lucretia (VI century BC.) disgraced by son of king Tarquinius Proud, called family and friends for revenge and in their presence caused a death. A friend of her husband, Lucius Iunius Brutus extracted dagger from the breast of dead, vowed revenge and to prevent the reign of Tarquinius Proud. With this episode linked the end of king's period in Rome.

Nature of the picture and some details of the work resembles an illustration by F. Tolstoy to the poem by I. Bogdanovich "Darling" [W. Sudak Paintings heritage Shevchenko of pre-academic period // Issue of Shevchenko. – K., 1961. – Vol. 2. – S. 102]. On the subject of revenge for the death of Lucretia created a picture of Louis David "Horace's Oath" (1784).

Maybe the picture was among the works of Shevchenko considered October 4, 1835 Committee of the Society to encourage artists and recognized "as such worthy of praise" [Taras Shevchenko: The documents and materials for the biography. 1814 – 1861. – K., 1982. – S. 9. – № 8].

Reproduced for the first time and commented in 1932 by A.P. Novitsky called "Death of Lucretia" [T. Shevchenko Complete Works. – [Kharkiv, 1932. – T. 8]. – P. 17. – № 165. – Tab. 323].

Together with other early works on historical subjects ("The death of Oleg, Prince drevlyan", "Death of Virginia", "Death of Socrates") and a copy of portrait of I.A. Krylov picture "Death of Lucretia" artist gave to V.A. Zhukovsky, who in 1841 move abroad. Therefore as part of its archive was received from P.V. Zhukovsky by the Paris collection of Pushkin's relics A.F. Onegin [Matsapura M. Portrait of I.A. Krylov by Shevchenko's brush // Taras Shevchenko-artist. I. – K., 1963. – S. 113 – 118; A.F. Onegin / Red newspaper. Evening issuance. – Leningrad, 1925. – 27 March]. By the will of the owner, in 1928 the collection was transferred to the Pushkin House in Leningrad, USSR.

Storage areas: from 1930 – Taras Shevchenko Institute; from 1932 – Gallery of pictures by T.H. Shevchenko (Kharkiv), from 1940 – Central Museum of T.H. Shevchenko (Kyiv); from 1948 – State Museum of T.H. Shevchenko (Kyiv).


1930. Leningrad. Exhibition of A.F. Onegin's collections [Pushkin House. Exhibition of A.F. Onegin's collections. – L., 1930. – S. 5];

1930. Kharkiv. Shevchenko exhibition [Panchenko M. Shevchenko exhibition 1930 // Literary Archives. – 1930. – No. 1 / 2. – S. 130];

1939. Kyiv. Shevchenko Jubilee Exhibition [Republican Shevchenko Jubilee Exhibition in Kiev: Product-guide. – K., 1941. – S. 18. – № 84];

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

I.M. Verykivska

After publication: Taras Shevchenko Complete Works in 10 volumes. – K.: ed. of Acad. Sci. of UkrSSR, 1961, t. 7, bk. 1, № 22 (image); T.H. Shevchenko Complete Works in 12 volumes. – K.: Naukova Dumka, 2003, v. 7, p. 359 (notes).