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Taras Shevchenko

Encyclopedia of the life and works


Portrait of Vasily Zhukovsky

Taras Shevchenko. Portrait of Vasily…

Taras Shevchenko. Portrait of Vasily Zhukovsky. A copy of the work by K. Briullov.
[1838, april – 1841. St. Petersburg].
Bristol Watercolour. 27,2 × 21 cm.
Taras Shevchenko National Museum, № g-1882.

On the back of mount sheet (now lost) was an inscription in ink: Poet V.A. Zhukovsky // Watercolor brushes K.P. Briullov. At the rear of the outline (also lost) at the bottom left was a red pencil inscription: E. Wsevolotsky [T. Shevchenko Complete Works: in 10 volumes. – K., 1963. – T. 10. – p. 64. – № 129].

Zhukovsky, Vasily Andreyevich (1783 – 1859) – russian poet, took an active part in the redemption of Shevchenko from serfdom.

Watercolor is an arbitrary copy of an V. A. Zhukovsky's oil portrait by brush K.P. Briullov, which was raffled in 1838 in a lottery to raise funds for the purchase of Shevchenko from the landlord P.V. Enhelhardt [Yatsyuk V. Chronicle of the great buy // In the free family, the new: a collection. – K., 1989. – Vol. 5. – p. 196 – 202].

Shevchenko's authorship of that copy convincingly argued by M.I. Matsapura [Matsapura M. Portrait of Vasily Zhukovsky brush Shevchenko // Homeland. – 1961. – № 5. – p. 173-179]. In late April 1838 Briullov's portrait of Zhukovsky was close to completion. Then the artist A.M. Mokrytsky made it's oil copy [Diary of artist A.N. Mokrytsky / Compiled by N.L. Pryjmak. – M., 1975. – p. 151]. Briullov completed work on the portrait only in 1841. The "Art newspaper" reported:

"Briullov these days finally finished portraits of Princess Saltykov, Mr Janisch, V.A. Zhukovsky. At the accessories of last portrait made significant changes, it much won of them" [Art newspaper. – 1941. – № 4. – p. 7].

A copy could be made Shevchenko after buying from serfdom, when he regularly worked in the Briullov's workshop.

Dated roughly within the 1838 – 1841's with view of the facts.

Reproduced for the first time in PZT in 1963 [T. Shevchenko Complete Works: in 10 volumes. – K., 1963. – T. 10. – p. 64. – № 129]

Storage areas: property of Semevski; V.G. Danilevsky; A.V. Gordon; 1962 – State Museum of T.H. Shevchenko (Kyiv). Information about the owners obtained from the Moscow collector I.V. Kachurin that transferred portrait to the National Museum T.H. Shevchenko (Kyiv), in his letter to the V.A. Sudak January 9, 1984 (kept at the Taras Shevchenko National Museum).


1964. Kyiv – Moscow. Shevchenko Jubilee Exhibition [Jubilee art exhibition on the 150-year anniversary of the birth of T.H. Shevchenko: Product. – Kiev, 1964. – p. 6];

1985. Kyiv. Museum of Kyiv. Shevchenko – portrait artist (no directory).

V.M. Yatsyuk

After publication: T.H. Shevchenko Complete Works in 12 volumes. – K.: Naukova Dumka, 2003, v. 7, p. 74 – 75 (image), p. 379 – 380 (notes).