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Taras Shevchenko

Encyclopedia of the life and works


State fist

Taras Shevchenko. State fist

Taras Shevchenko. Baygush under the window ("State fist"). Paper, sepia. [Novopetrovsk fort]. [10.VI 1855 – 21.IV 1856].

Baygush – Kazakh's poorest children beggars – pictured below the window of g officer's building in Novopetrovsk fort.

Description and copy submitted by the photo that is stored at the Taras Shevchenko National Museum [inv. number ph – 1] done by Krakow firm A. Schubert.

On the mat under the photo ink inscription: "State fist". The picture by Taras Shevchenko in Orenburg, discovered and reproduced by efforts of Society "Academic Community" in Krakow.

The mention of Orenburg in the caption under the picture as place of creation should be considered false or treat it as a generic name of Shevchenko's place of exile where he met exiled Poles.

The dating of the picture in 1848 [S. E. Raevsky, Life and works of artist Taras Shevchenko, X., 1939, Table 45], 1853 [A. Novitsky, Taras Shevchenko as a painter, Lviv – Moscow, 1914, p. 69, № 477] and 1854 – 1857 [E. P. Kyrylyuk, Taras Shevchenko, K., 1951, reproduction between pages 64 – 65] denied by the presence of a light outline of a Baygush on one of the sheets of "Gemini" story manuscript [not reproduced for technical reasons, Institute of Literature National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine, Department of Manuscripts, fund 1, № 90, fol. 452 – 461]. Time of writing the story determined between 10.VI 1855 and 20.VII 1856.

Br. Zaleski in a letter to Shevchenko from Orenburg 8.VI 1856 writed that he sends three photos: "of Sigismund and 2 instances of kyrgyz boys" ["Kyiv antiquity", 1897, Vol. III, p. 460]. Sketch of a Baygush in "Gemini" story manuscript (1855 – 1856 years) gives reason to believe that the letter Br. Zaleski talking about this image Kyrgyz boys that begging under the window.

Sent photos were a response to please Shevchenko expressed 21.IV 1856: "…I send you two pieces of woolen cloth, choose any of them as a souvenir of me, and the other sell and send photos" and repeated in a letter dated 20.V 1856.

So picture "Baygush beneath the window" obvious Shevchenko was sent to Orenburg to Br. Zaleski 21.IV 1856. This day should be considered the date of execution of the final figure, the start date is determined by the start of the "Gemini" story – 10.VI 1855.

In the literature is found under the title: "Kyrgyz children" ["Product of ukrainian antiquities and rarities form the collection of V. Tarnowski", Vol. I, K., 1893, p. 31, XVI, 16], "Baygush" [S. E. Raevsky, Life and works of artist Taras Shevchenko, X., 1939, p. 71 and Table 45], "State fist" [Taras Shevchenko Complete collection of works in three volumes. Volume II, Stories, K., Goslltlzdat, 1949, reproduction between pages 208 – 209].

Storage areas: property of Dr. K. (in Krakow).

Present location of original is unknown. There is other image of baygush.

I. M. Verykivska

After publication: Taras Shevchenko Complete Works in 10 volumes. – Kyiv: ed. Academy of sciences of UkrSSR, 1964, Vol. 9, № 45 (image), p. 29 (note).

Additional images