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Taras Shevchenko

Encyclopedia of the life and works


The death of Ivan Mazepa

Taras Shevchenko. The death of Ivan…

Taras Shevchenko. The death of Ivan Mazepa. After poem K.F. Ryleev "Vojnarovsky". Sketch. [1843, 1st half. St. Petersburg].
Pencil on paper. Picture size 5,5 × 4,7 cm [we only reproduce this part]; sheet size 18,9 × 12,7 cm
Taras Shevchenko National Museum, № g-646.

On the back – "Anton Golovaty near Neva". Sketch.

Below pencil mark: number 420 (catalog number Chernigov Ukrainian museum of antiquities).

Given that there are other sketches of this subject this can be considered preparatory to planned work for "Picturesque Ukraine". Artist recreates one of the dramatic events of Ukraine's history – the death in 1709 Hetman Ivan Mazepa in Bendery in the presence of Charles XII. It was described in the "History of the Little Russia" by D.M. Bantysh-Kamensky, first published in 1822 [Bantysh-Kamensky D.N. History of Little Russia. – K., 1993. – P. 410 – 411], in distributed at the time of handwritten copied of "History of the Rus" [History of Rus or Little Russia. Work by George Konysky. – M., 1846; History of Rus / Ukrainian translation by I. Drach. – K., 1991. – P. 274]. Developing story of the death of Ivan Mazepa in sketches, Shevchenko, as well as in the picture "Mazeppa and Vojnarovsky" appealed to the lines of the poem K.F. Ryleev "Vojnarovsky", where Mazepa's nephew Andrew Vojnarovsky says the death of Hetman.

Dated approximately the first half of 1843 according to the picture on the back of the sheet.

First mentioned in 1932 and reproduces by A.P. Novitsky called "Charles and Mazepa" [Shevchenko T. Complete Works. – [X., 1932. – T. 8]. – P. 46. – № 340. – T. 309].

Mentioned with the title "Composition of the historical topic» [Shevchenko T. Complete works in 10 volumes. – K., 1961. – Vol. 7, part 2. – P. 34. – № 285].

Storage areas: a collection of V. Tarnowskі, from 1899 – V. Tarnowski's Chernihiv museum of ukrainian antiquities, from 1925 – Chernihiv Historical Museum, from 1933 – Gallery of pictures by T.H. Shevchenko (Kharkiv), from 1948 – National Museum of T.H. Shevchenko (Kyiv).

V. A. Sudak

After publication: T.H. Shevchenko Complete works in 12 volumes. – Kyiv: Naukova Dumka, 2003, v. 7, p. 322 – 323 (image), p. 453 – 454 (note).