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Taras Shevchenko

Encyclopedia of the life and works


Portrait of an unknown girl (2)

Taras Shevchenko. Portrait of an…

Taras Shevchenko. Portrait of an unknown girl. Watercolour (26,5 × 9,5). [Orenburg]. [XI 1849 – IV 1850?]. Gorky Art Museum.

On the back – pencil inscription: Shevchenko 1814 – 1861. Portrait of A. E. Uskova (same hand as the inventory number).

In 1911 this work was exhibited at the Shevchenko exhibition in Nizhny Novgorod as a portrait A.Rozanova ("Nizhny Novgorod sheet", 21.III 1911). With the same title in 1924, it went to Gorky Art Museum by artist V. A. Likin.

At that time was made an inscription that this was portrait A. E. Uskova.

In 1958, work was published as a portrait of A. Uskova [V. Kosyan, Little known portrait work Shevchenko, "T. Shevchenko in Nizhny Novgorod", Gorky, 1958, p. 203 – 206].

However, there is no sufficient grounds for the claim that it is a portrait Uskova. Some similarity to known portraits Uskova can be explained by the peculiarities of creative style of the artist. More reasons is evidence of owners who exposed it as a portrait A. Rozanova. Staying in Orenburg Shevchenko certainly could be familiar with the Rozanov family and made a portrait of Alexandra Alekseevna Rozanova – a young girl who in 1848 graduated Nepljuev maiden school. Her father A. Rozanov – archpriest of Orenburg Transfiguration Cathedral – was a correspondent of the Russian Geographical Society, and in this respect, perhaps, met with members of the Aral expedition after their return from the voyage. Son of A. Rozanov was a painter, and in 1849 he entered the St. Petersburg Academy of Arts [State Archive of the Orenburg region, F. 173, op. 9 unit 257]. However, further studies are needed for the final determination of the person portrayed.

The names of the previous owners have not been established. Newspaper "Nizhny Novgorod leaf" from March 21, 1911 calls S. Lazarev, Konopasevych and Archives Commission members as the owners of art works exhibited at the show.

G. P. Palamarchuk

After publication: Taras Shevchenko Complete Works in 10 volumes. – Kyiv: ed. Academy of sciences of UkrSSR, 1962, vol. 8, № 50 (image), p. 29 (notes).