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Taras Shevchenko

Encyclopedia of the life and works


A.V. Suvorov

Taras Shevchenko. Portrait of A.V.…

Taras Shevchenko. Portrait of A.V. Suvorov. Engraving (11,3 × 10,2 cm) placed between pages 172 – 173 of the book "Russian generals" by N.A.Polevoj.

Suvorov Aleksandr Vasilyevich (1729 – 1800) – Prince, the Russian commander, generalissimo.

In the preface to the book stated that the portrait of A. Suvorov made

"with one of his portraits painted from life by Saxon painter Johann Heinrich Schmidt, an exact copy is stored in F.A. Bühler, whose father enjoyed special favor of Suvorov" [Polevoj N. Russian generals. – St. Petersburg, 1845. – P. XI].

D.A. Rovinsky, exploring the iconography of A. Suvorov, noted: "The portrait, which belonged to Baron Bühler made pastel, four times less than the original and acquired in the same Schmidt in 1800 for 30 ducats" [Rovinsky D.A. Detailed dictionary of Russian engraved portraits. – St. Petersburg, 1889. – T. 2. – S. 1701]. This author's repetition of Johann Heinrich Schmidt, Shevchenko used as illustrations for the "History of Suvorov" and for this portrait. February 27, 1843 Polevoj in a letter to Baron F.A. Bühler, the son of his first owner A.J. Bühler, wrote: "Portrait keep as precious and confirm the artist, so he quickly returned it to me to send you" [Polevoj N. From scraps of Baron F.A. Bühler // Russian antiquity. – 1871. – № 12. – S. 675].

In September 1843, when Shevchenko was in Ukraine, Polevoj in the diary mentioned that Schmidt's portrait of Suvorov then remained in Shevchenko [Diary of N.A.Polevoj. 1838 – 1845 // Historical Journal. – 1888. – № 4. – S. 165].

Probably, after return from Ukraine in early 1844 Shevchenko was still working on a portrait of Suvorov. Portrait used by Shevchenko returned to the owner. It was exposed in 1900 at Suvorov's exhibition arranged by the General Staff Academy in St. Petersburg, referred to her grandson the first owner of the portrait P.F. Bühler [Sudak V. Pages of T. Shevchenko-illustrator // Folk art and ethnography. – 1989. – № 1. – P. 6].

Looking at portraits of A. Suvorov, engraved by type J.-H. Schmidt, D.A. Rovinsky provided a description of the portrait published in N.A.Polevoj's book, without mentioning names of artist and engraver [Rovinsky D.A. Detailed dictionary of Russian engraved portraits. – T. 2. – S. 1700].

Location of portrait of A. Suvorov by J.-H. Schmidt unknown. There is an assumption that he was taken abroad. A copy of it, made by V.A. Serov, now preserved in the Suvorov's Museum in St. Petersburg [Pomarnatsky A. Portraits of A. Suvorov: iconographic essays. – L., 1963. – S. 144, 164].

N.P. Prokopenko

After publication: T.H. Shevchenko Complete Works in 12 volumes. – Kyiv: Naukova Dumka, 2003, v. 7, p. 190 – 191 (image), p. 419 – 420 (note).