Taras Shevchenko. Novopetrovsk fort from the sea. Watercolour (12.3 × 30.6 cm). [Novopetrovsk fort]. [1856 – 13.V 1857]. Taras Shevchenko National Museum, inv. g – 496.
On the back bottom left – ink inscription by hand Shevchenko: 1. Novopetrovsk fort from the sea.
Drawing done from the harbor. On the sand spit at the entrance to the bay – the lighthouse. The third plan – two lighthouses and fortifications.
In a letter dated 2.III 1857 Zaleski offered Shevchenko to transfer his drawings to J. K. Wilchynsky, publisher of "Vilna album" for making lithographies. Shevchenko received this letter May 10 and immediately answered: "…for the Vilna album I shall sent a few pieces of our Karatau voyage and of the local neighborhoods, and what send, I will write about". Over several days, Shevchenko managed to finish some pictures, and some (such as Kara-Tau landscapes) used ready, because on May 13, he appends to the same letter:
"I'm sending to you 17 pieces for the Vilna album. Choose the ones that seem to you the best and better to the case, and appointed them a price by yourself, which you will find decent. Intends to compete, I'm now more than sometime money is needed… If you would have paid for 15 rubles, I'd be more than happy… The shape and size of 17 pieces can give one, it will not hurt the effect: – such, for example, number 17 Kochak".
As the publisher of the album went this time abroad, Br. Zaleski could not offer him pictures Shevchenko, and not wanting to sell them, sent them for sale to S. Sierakowski.
In December 1857 watercolors were bought for 250 rubles by Tarnowskі (founder of the museum), G. P. Galagan and S. O. Galagan (money for them Shevchenko received January 3, 1858 [See letter Tarnowskі (son) to father of 15.XI 1857 and a letter Tarnowskі (father) to son of 28.XI that year (Chernihiv Historical Museum, Department funds)]).
From the Tarnowski's collection the Shevchenko State Museum received 7 watercolors with author's names on the back and numbering, made by Shevchenko at the same time. There were views of Novopetrovsk fort and localities, sketches performed by Shevchenko during Kara-Tau expedition. This gives reason to assign them to those sent to Br. Zaleski for "Vilna album". In the catalog of Tarnowski's museum these seven watercolors listed in sequence, according to the author's numbering, which gave reason include to the same series picture "Novopetrovsk fort from Khiva road" although it is missing the author's number. Location of last 10 drawings is unknown.
This picture is the first in the series, which has on the back the author's name and numbering. The literature incorrectly indicated the presence of the letter "Sh" on the reverse, in fact it is the number "1", which partly shone through the printed label.
In the literature is found under the title: "Novopetrovsk fort from the sea" [A. Novitsky, Taras Shevchenko as a painter, Lviv – Moscow, 1914, p. 64, № 380], " Novopetrovsk forts… View from the Sea" [L. Karachevska, Exhibition Shevchenko Chernihiv, 1930, p. 19, № 36], "Novopetrovsk fort of the sea" [M. G. Burachek, Great folk artist, X., 1939, Table XLIII], "Novopetrovsk fort from the sea" [T. Shevchenko. By the 125th anniversary of his birth. Materials for the anniversary in libraries, K – X., 1939, p. 38].
Storage areas: V. Tarnowski's Chernihiv museum of ukrainian antiquities – № 258, Chernihiv Historical Museum, Institute of Taras Shevchenko, Kharkiv – Kyiv, Gallery of pictures Shevchenko, Kharkiv.
In 1929 picture exposed at the exhibition of works of Taras Shevchenko in Chernihiv (Catalogue, p. 19, № 36), in 1939 – on the Republican Shevchenko Jubilee exhibition, Kyiv (Product, № 229), in 1951 – on the exhibition of fine arts Ukrainian SSR in Moscow (catalog, p. 105).
G. P. Palamarchuk
After publication: Taras Shevchenko Complete Works in 10 volumes. – Kyiv: ed. Academy of sciences of UkrSSR, 1964, Vol. 9, № 58 (image), p. 36 (note).