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Taras Shevchenko

Encyclopedia of the life and works


In the harem

Taras Shevchenko. In the harem

Taras Shevchenko. In the harem. 1843, [no later than May. St. Petersburg]. Bristol watercolor. 24,7 × 20 cm
Taras Shevchenko National Museum, № g–393.

Left at the bottom author's date and signature in red color: 1843. Shevchenko. The back labels: left at the top of the ink: 1843. In the harem. 280 × 200, right at the top of a pencil: number 146 (catalog number Chernigov Ukrainian museum of antiquities).

The story and style of Shevchenko's picture similar to oriental themes in the work of K.P. Briullov, so it mistakenly believed to be a copy of the work of teacher.

Shevchenko's interest to eastern subjects could be influenced by Briullov. His stories about travel Turkey Shevchenko mentioned in the story "Artist". He could see Briullov's watercolor "Turkish cemetery at Scutari" (1836). In the poem "Gamalija" (late 1842), which events unfold on the outskirts of Istanbul in Scutari, are rows.

In the eastern plots Shevchenko sought after exile: the picture "In the harem" and studies for it, unknown sepia "Turk and odalisque".

This watercolor first mentioned in the catalog of Chernigov Ukrainian Museum of Antiquities in 1900 [Catalog of V. Tarnowski's Museum of Ukrainian antiquity / arranged by B.D. Grinchenko. – Chernigov, 1900. – T. 2. – P. 171. – № 146]

For the first time reproduced in 1911 in postcard published by the company "Education" and in the same year in magazines [Mirror. – 1911. – № 9. – Cover; Ramp and Life. – 1911. – № 9. – P. 8].

Storage sites: not earlier 1893 – came to the collection of V. Tarnowskі [In edition: Catalog of Little Russian antiques and rarities in V.V. Tarnowski's collection (Vol. 1. Shevchenko. – Chernigov, 1893) – the product was not registered], 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).


1929. Chernihiv. Shevchenko exhibition [Karachevska A. Exhibition Shevchenko: conductor. – Chernigov, 1930. – P. 16];

1968. Prague. Shevchenko exhibition [Taras Ševčenko: Výstava o životĕ a díle. – [Prague, 1968]. – № 6/1];

1984. Kyiv. Shevchenko, the artist [Shevchenko, the artist: Exhibition Catalogue. – K., 1986. – P. 9].

A.G. Vartanova, V. A. Sudak

After publication: Taras Shevchenko Complete works in 10 volumes. – Kyiv: ed. Academy of sciences of UkrSSR, 1961, Vol. 7, part 1, № 74 (image); T.H. Shevchenko Complete works in 12 volumes. – Kyiv: Naukova Dumka, 2003, v. 7, p. 391 (note).

Additional images