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Taras Shevchenko

Encyclopedia of the life and works


Autograph letter to his brother Nikita

Taras Shevchenko. Autograph letter to…

Taras Shevchenko. Sketches on a letter to his brother Nikita Shevchenko.
1840, march 2. St. Petersburg. Paper, ink, pen.
Department of manuscripts and textology Shevchenko Literature institute,
National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine, fund 1, № 239.

On the first page of the letter placed the author's inscription above right: Saint Petersburg – March 2 – 1840.

Sketches made on the face and reverse sides of the shabby, sometimes glued sheet. There are not directly related to the content of the letter and were a reflection of what the author noted in the text: "Something like a painter, it is everywhere draw whatnot. You're sorry, forgot that writing to you, and well to draw".

Among the sketches there are four profile self-portraits similar to images found in the sketches in pencil on the margins of the manuscript of the poem "Mariana–nun", pages of handwritten book "Three years". Profile of young man in the hat present at the manuscript of «Mariana-nun», it is close to ukrainian cossack type of the images to "Suvorov's history». It is presumed that the sheets of letter one of the images resembles a professor of anatomy I.V.Buyalsky [Shevchenko's etchings / edited by V. Kasian. – K., 1964. – p. 8] and the second – K.P. Briullov [T. Shevchenko Complete Works. – [Kharkiv, 1932. – T. 8]. – p. 33. – № 252].

Letter was first mentioned and abstracted by scientist anthropologist Dr. Y.D. Talko–Hryntsevych who discovered it in Peter Shevchenko (a nephew of T.Shevchenko). About Shevchenko pictures he wrote: "The two outer pages placed sketches of several figures, heads of various types made by hand is not quite experienced painter" [Talko Hryntsevych Y.D. Trip to Kirillovka // Kievan antiquity. – 1889. – № 9. – p. 763].

Text and autograph without pictures published in 1891 with an unsigned preface "Two letters by T.H. Shevchenko" [Kievan antiquity. – 1891. – № 2. – p. 211 – 212; reproduction between pp.8 – 9]. Publication was prepared by V.P. Gorlenko, who wrote January 3, 1891 to O.M. Lazarevsky: "I send Shevchenko letters and a few lines of the foreword to them, to which I ask not to put any signature […] I wrote that I know – nothing more" [T.H. Shevchenko the epistolary heritage of manuscripts Central Scientific Library of the Academy of Sciences of the USSR / Editor F.K. Sarana. – K., 1966. – p. 129. – № 250].

First fully reproduced in 1961 in PZT [T. Shevchenko complete works: in 10 vols. – K., 1961. – Vol. 7, bk. 2. – p. 26. – № 254 – 255].

Storage areas: property of M.G. Shevchenko, P.M. Shevchenko later – a collection of V. Tarnowskі; from 1899 – V. Tarnowski's Chernihiv museum of ukrainian antiquities, 1925 – Chernihiv Historical Museum, 1933 – Taras Shevchenko institute; 1936 – Shevchenko Institute of ukrainian literature.

O.G. Vartanova, V.A. Sudak

After publication: T.H. Shevchenko Complete Works in 12 volumes. – K.: Naukova Dumka, 2003, v. 7, p. 224 – 225 (image), p. 427 – 428 (notes).

Additional images