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Taras Shevchenko

Encyclopedia of the life and works


Ak-Tau mountain ridges

Taras Shevchenko. Ak-Tau mountain ridges

Taras Shevchenko. Ak-Tau mountain ridges. Colored pencil on paper (17.7 × 28.9 cm). [VII – 8.VIII 1851]. Taras Shevchenko National Museum, inv. g – 523.

Lower left in pencil hand Shevchenko 26.

Top right ink marked: Number 117 – 50.

The figure shows the mountains of the central part of North Ak-Tau: in the center – Kajrak Tau, right – Usyr Tau, between them on the third plan – Akmysh Tau, on the left in the foreground – Chir-Kala Tau mountain.

Dated by tentatively defined residence time of the expedition in the North Ak-Tau.

This figure is reproduced by Br. Zaleski in etching [album «La vie des steppes Kirghizes», Paris, 1865, between p. 62 – 63].

In the explanatory text to the etching on p. 63 Br. Zaleski characterized Ak-Tau mountains:

"The name of Ak-Tau (White Mountains) correctly assigned by natives to chalk mountains, with the same geological structure and very similar form. They rise above the plain in a high steep walls, cut in the form of giant pillars, and nearly surrounded by a shorter, but still higher ridge of the Black Mountains (Kara-Tau)… Ak-Tau mountains having almost everywhere the same height, do not rise above 700 feet. Some of these mountains have special names. Depicted mountains called by Kazakhs Usyr Tau, Ak-Mysh Tau and Kajrak Tau. Like whole ridge, these individual mountains surrounded by flat desert".

Other image of Kajrak Tau see number 83, Usyr Tau – number 90, Akmysh Tau – № 11, 12. Pictures of strand Tau from different points see number 8, 9 and number 84, 86, 93.

In the literature is found under the title: "Rocks, among them valley" ["Catalogue of V. Tarnowski's museum of ukrainian antiquities", Vol. II, Chernigov, 1900, p. 182, № 286], "Rocks among valley" ["Product of Shevchenko exhibitions in Moscow on 50th anniversary of his death", Moscow, 1911, p. 10, № 136].

Storage areas: V. Tarnowski's Chernihiv museum of ukrainian antiquities – № 286, Chernihiv Historical Museum, Gallery of pictures by T.H. Shevchenko (Kharkiv).

I. M. Verykivska

After publication: Taras Shevchenko Complete Works in 10 volumes. – Kyiv: ed. Academy of sciences of UkrSSR, 1964, Vol. 9, № 89 (image), p. 50 (note).