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Taras Shevchenko

Encyclopedia of the life and works


Telemachus on Calypso's island

Taras Shevchenko. Telemachus on…

Taras Shevchenko. Telemachus on Calypso's island. Paper, sepia (25.3 × 20.5 cm). [Novopetrovsk fort]. [Summer 1856]. Taras Shevchenko National Museum, inv. g – 286.

Lower left signed in ink by author: T. Shevchenko.

On the back of the below the middle – ink inscription by hand Shevchenko: 1. Telemachus on Calypso's island.

Found in the literature under a false name "Odysseus on the island of Calypso" [S. E. Raevsky, Life and works of artist Taras Shevchenko, X., 1939, p. 43 – 44; M. G. Burachek, Great folk artist, X., 1939, p. 16].

The figure shows Telemachus son of Odysseus in the cave on the island of the nymph Calypso, where he went in search of his father.

The plot for this picture, obviously taken from a popular book at the time Francois Fenelon «Les aventures de Telemaque», translated into Russian poetry [V. K. Tredyakovsky, "Telemakhyda", St. Petersburg, 1766, Vol. 1] and prose [Fenelon, Travels of Telemachus, son of Ulyss. Translated by G. Shypovsky, Part 1, St. Petersburg, 1822, et al.].

Nymph Calypso in the picture reminds nymph Echo (see figure "Narcissus and the nymph Echo»).

Storage areas: Tsvetkov gallery, State Tretyakov Gallery, Moscow, 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, № 46 (image), p. 29 – 30 (note).