Hilly coast of Nicholas island
Taras Shevchenko. Hilly coast of Nicholas island. Watercolour (15,6 × 29,1 cm). [12 – 21.IX 1848, 22 – 30.VIII 1849]. Taras Shevchenko National Museum, inv. g – 746.
Nicholas Island. Watercolors and drawings [12 – 21.IX 1848, 22 – 30.VIII 1849].
Nicholas Island (the modern name Vozrozhdyenia island) and the adjacent islands Constantin and Naslednik discovered by expedition 9.IX 1848 during the first voyage of the Aral Sea and named Royally islands.
In the diary of Butakov 9.IX 1848 says:
"At 7 o'clock in the morning was opened in the left hand island. According to the high banks of it, even more towering refraction, I took it at first for the island Barsa Kelmes, but to cope with the reckoning, I immediately saw that made a new discovery…" ["Day notes of navigation A. I. Butakov on the Aral Sea in 1848 – 1849 years", Tashkent, 1953, p. 28].
Due to bad weather the expedition was able to come to the island just 12.IX.1848 in evening and dropped anchor near its western shore.
The island expedition visited twice: 12 – 21.IX 1848 and 22 – 30.VIII.1849, which is the reason for the double dating of pictures. In 1848, it was investigated Nicholas island, and in 1849 – its coves, bays, and Constantin island.
Description of Nicholas island was given the diary Butakov:
"Nicholas 1st Island occupies a space of about 300 square versta, it is covered in a huge number saxauls, tamarisk and willow; Digging in fresh water near the shore, some taste like a Barsa-Kelmes one, but not so bitter… North [part of the island] bends to west longest and highest scythe and forms a vast bay, the other is on the beautiful bay side of the island SO… On 7 miles to the NSW away is the long narrow sandy island 9 [?] versta long, which I named the Heir Island, and on the south side of the other island of the same kind, which I have called the Isle of Constantine" [ibid, p. 29].
To this cycle of pictures are also belong number 165 – 172.
On the album sheet, below the picture pasted on it, ink inscription (possibly hand O. M. Butakova): Hilly coast of Nicholas island – discovered by A. I. Butakov (work of Shevchenko).
On the back of the album's sheet on the left – pencil inscription and signature (hand S. Glazenap): From album A.I. Butakov S. Glazenap.
In his own diary A. I. Butakov writes: "The eastern and north-eastern parts of the island uplifted and consist of clay soil" ["Day notes of navigation A. I. Butakov on the Aral Sea in 1848 – 1849 years", Tashkent, 1953, p. 29].
Mentioned in the literature under the name "High shore of the island of Nicholas" [A. Novitsky Taras Shevchenko as a painter, Lviv – Moscow, 1914, p. 60, № 312].
After this picture was made the etching by O. M. Butakova [see Rovinsky D.A. Detailed dictionary of Russian engravers. – St. Petersburg, 1895, p. 90].
Sketch to this image see number 165.
Other paintings and drawings of Nicholas island see № 27 – 31 and number 165 – 172.
Storage areas: property of Butakov, Glazenap, Kyiv City Museum, Ukrainian historical museum (Kyiv), Gallery of pictures Shevchenko, Kharkiv.
L. I. Vnuchkova
After publication: Taras Shevchenko Complete Works in 10 volumes. – Kyiv: ed. Academy of sciences of UkrSSR, 1962, vol. 8, № 26 (image), p. 17 – 18 (notes).