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Taras Shevchenko

Encyclopedia of the life and works


Dying gladiator

Taras Shevchenko. Dying gladiator

Taras Shevchenko. Dying gladiator. Bristol paper, sepia (24.9 × 19.4 cm). [Novopetrovsk fort]. [Summer 1856]. Taras Shevchenko National Museum, inv. g – 293.

Lower left – author's sign in ink: T. Shevchenko.

On the back bottom left – ink inscription by hand Shevchenko: 9. dying gladiator.

Drawing done after the eponymous poem by Mikhail Lermontov, whose work is always very interested Shevchenko. In letters to A. Lyzogub from February 1, 1848 and to F. Lazarevsky from April 22, 1848 Shevchenko asked to send him works Lermontov. M. Lazarevsky, in a letter to Shevchenko on February 12, 1848 wrote: "sending you Lermontov" [Taras Shevchenko, Correspondence, 1929, p. 255]. Lermontov's works taken from Shevchenko during his arrest April 27, 1850, were returned May 14, 1850 [see "Kyiv antiquity", 1896, Vol. II, p. 137] and apparently he had them in Novopetrovsk fort. The interest Shevchenko to Lermontov's poem "Dying gladiator" we have contemporary evidence by L. S. Alekseev [see I. A[lekseev], Materials for biography of T. Gr. Shevchenko, "Russkoe bogatstvo", 1901, Vol. II, p. 64].

Sketch similar to this figure for composition, see "Sleeping woman. Study".

Motives of dating see number 46.

Found in the literature under the names "Death gladiator" [A. Novitsky, Taras Shevchenko as a painter, Lviv – Moscow, 1914, p. 74, № 534] and "Gladiator" [G. D. Vladimirski, A. N. Savinov, Taras Shevchenko – the artist, Leningrad – Moscow, 1939, p. 19].

Storage areas: Tsvetkov gallery, State Tretyakov Gallery, Moscow, Institute of Taras Shevchenko, Kharkiv – Kyiv, Gallery of pictures Shevchenko, Kharkiv.

In 1909 – 1910 exposed at an exhibition of prints and drawings at the Academy of Arts (Product, № 198).

V. O. Sudak

After publication: Taras Shevchenko Complete Works in 10 volumes. – Kyiv: ed. Academy of sciences of UkrSSR, 1964, Vol. 9, № 54 (image), p. 33 – 34 (note).