Taras Shevchenko. Portrait of Heraclius Alexandrovich Uskov. Stained paper, Italian pencil, white (32.4 × 21.3 cm). [Novopetrovsk fort]. [Summer 1853 – VII 1857]. Taras Shevchenko National Museum, inv. g – 272.
Bottom right on the portrait background whitewash mark by Shevchenko hand: 1852. Z.
H. A. Uskov (1811 – 1882) – commandant of Novopetrovsk fort from 1853 to 1865.
Confirmation that the portrait depicted H. A. Uskov, there is evidence of his daughter N. I. Smoljak, from whom was purchased this portrait and Uskov photos from later time.
In unpublished material to edition of Shevchenko painting heritage A. Novitsky, citing I. Eisenstok, expressed view that the author's date (which corresponds to the time spent Uskov in Novopetrovsk fort) and the sign «Z» author deliberately set to reject away suspicion of violating the royal prohibitions draw. «Z» sign made on the Shevchenko figure "Mangyshlak garden" too.
A. Uskova in his memoirs said that Shevchenko initially treated H. A. Uskov with distrust and only after her arrival in Novopetrovsk friends with the whole family [see Institute of Literature National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine, fund 77/ 124].
Start date indicated time of arrival A. E. Uskova, end – time Shevchenko departed from Novopetrovsk fort.
Storage areas: property of H. A. Uskov, N. I. Smoljak, Institute of Taras Shevchenko, Kharkiv – Kyiv, Gallery of pictures Shevchenko, Kharkiv.
V. O. Sudak
After publication: Taras Shevchenko Complete Works in 10 volumes. – Kyiv: ed. Academy of sciences of UkrSSR, 1964, Vol. 9, № 36 (image), p. 24 – 25 (note).