Start page

Taras Shevchenko

Encyclopedia of the life and works


Self-portrait 1858

Taras Shevchenko. Self-portrait 1858

Taras Shevchenko. Self-portrait. [Nizhny Novgorod]. [Not later than 4 Jan] 1858.
Stained paper, Italian and white pencil (25.5 × 21.2 cm).

Right at the bottom placed author date and monogram (with white pencil): 1858 Ш.

Leaf, which made drawing, damaged and cut off the edges. At the bottom barely visible remnants made ink inscription.

From the Diary of Shevchenko and correspondence with M.M.Lazarevsky in January 1858 it is known that at this time Shevchenko gave to M.M.Lazarevsky his self-portrait, send it along with letter dated 4 Jan 1858 from Nizhny Novgorod through P.A. Ovsyannikov. The fact that with this letter was sent a self-portrait, shows M.M.Lazarevsky's response of 19 January in which he announced the meeting with Ovsyannikov and writes: "Thank you, thank you very much, my darling, my golden Taras, for your gift: your face…" (Kievan antiquity, 1901, book. 2, p. 293). From this self-portrait M.M.Lazarevsky made 50 photocopies for distribution among friends about what Shevchenko wrote in him February 22, 1858:

"… You made well that made 50 pieces of the remembered image: let our countrymen watching on this appearance of their bearded remaining kobzar…"

These photos Shevchenko's friends spread among friends to raise money for financial aid for Shevchenko during his return from exile.

In correspondence Shevchenko also know that some photos of this self-portrait were donated by the artist to S.T.Aksakov, Ja. H. Kukharenko, I.A.Uskov et al.

The funds of the National Taras Shevchenko Museum (USSR Academy of Sciences, Kyiv) posesses one of M.M.Lazarevsky's prints with a part of Shevchenko's inscription: … my friend Mikhailov…

Comparison of this photos and self-portrait confirming that the photo was made from this portrait, which was presented by Shevchenko to M.M.Lazarevsky in January 1858.

Previous storage: property M.M.Lazarevsky, Tarnowski's Museum of Ukrainian antiquities in Chernigov – № 375, Chernihiv Regional Historical Museum, Gallery of paintings by T. Shevchenko (Kharkiv).

National Taras Shevchenko Museum, USSR Academy of Sciences, Kyiv, inv. number g – 605.


After publication: Taras Shevchenko Complete Works in 10 volumes. – Kyiv: ed. Academy of sciences of UkrSSR, 1963, t. 10, № 18 (image), p. 13 – 14 (notes).