An exhibition commemorating the 200-anniversary since the great Ukrainian artist was born and 50th-anniversary since the memorial studio in the Art Academy was established.
Taras Shevchenko was born on 9th of March 1814 in a family of serf peasants in the village of Moryntsi, Kiev region, in the Russian Empire. Soon he became an orphan. At the age of 14 he was directed to the manor house of a landlord Engelgard as a house serf. Back then he had already shown his painting talent. In 1831 Engelgard took him along to Saint-Petersburg where the future artist became a student at the painting studio of V. G. Shiryaev. Later Taras Shevchenko got acquainted with many representatives of Russian and Ukrainian cultures. Through these people in 1837 he also met an outstanding Russian painter Karl Brullov. Karl Brullov approved young boy’s talent and suggested him to study at the Art Academy. Unfortunately according to the rules of those times a serf couldn’t enroll the Art Academy. So Karl Brullov donated his portrait of the famous Russian poet Vasily Zhukovsky as a lottery prize and all the money gained were used to buy Shevchenko’s freedom in 1838. Since then a new period in Shevchenko started: he was no longer a serf and was a student at the Art Academy in Saint-Petersburg at the studio of Karl Brullov. The next year he became a resident student at the Association for the Encouragement of Artists. He began writing poetry while he was a serf and in 1840 his first collection of poetry, Kobzar, was published. In 1844 Shevchenko travelled to Ukraine and decided to capture some of his homeland's historical ruins and cultural monuments in an album of etchings, which he called Picturesque Ukraine. This exhibition displays two original etchings from the album: “The board of judges” and “Senior heads”. Both works depict genre scenes with additional written stories. Two other exhibited etchings, “At a tavern” and “Old man at the cemetery” were created in 1859 when Taras Shevchenko had returned from an exile. The last three years the artist had been working mostly as an etcher.
The fund of the memorial studio of Taras Shevchenko was established in 1964. The main parts of it are works dedicated to Taras Shevchenko’s oeuvre and donated from different state and private collections.
Some of the items are now part of the permanent exposition; others have been shown for the first time. The great part of the current exhibition are graphic works created in 1960s. Among them one can find illustrations by V. I. Lopata, A. I. Ivakhnenko and G. O. Goroblevskaya to the literally heritage of Taras Shevchenko. All the illustrations are accompanied with the original Ukrainian texts by Taras Shevchenko.