Taras Shevchenko in the memory of generations

Taras Shevchenko in the memory of generationsTaras Shevchenko was born on 9 March, 1814 in Moryntsi, Kyiv guberniya. When he was a teenager, he became an orphan and grew up in poverty. When he was 14, his master P. Enhelhardt took Taras to work in the hause. The boy travelled with him to Vilnius and St. Peterburg. In Vilnius Taras heard Lithuanian. Russian and Polish foreign languages for the first time andsaw people,who where freed by their masters. Having noticed that the boy had certain painting skills, Enhelhardt apprenticed him to artist V. Shyriaev for four years.

At this time the young man met his countrymen I. Soshchenko, E. Hrebinka, D. Hryhorovych and O. Venetsianov. They  showed his works to the famous Russian artist Karl Briullov. Shevchenko`s paintings impressed Brullov, and he decided to help him. The prominent artist painted a portrait of Russian poet V. Zhukovskyi and put it on sale. For this money he bought Shevchenko`s freedom from Enhelhardt in 1838.

Shevchenko entered the Academy of Arts in St. Petersburg and became Briullov`s student. He was awarded three silver medals for his works and later became an academician in engraving.

During his studying in the Academy Shevchenko understood that has main calling and real passion was poetry. In 1840 he published his first collection of poems “Kobzar”. In 1841 the epic poem “Haidamaky” and in 1844 the poem “Hamaliya” were issued.

Having graduated from the Academy, Shevchenko became a member of Kyiv Archeografhic Committee. In 1846 he joined the secret Cyril and Methodius Brotherhood. It was a secret political union, which was broken up in 1847. Shevchenko was arrested and sent to special corps in Orenburg. He was deprived of his rights to paint and to write. 10 years of exile undermined his health and Shevchenko got seriously ill.

After being released in 1857, he was forbidden to live Ukraine. He went to St. Peterburg, and on 10 March, 1861 the great poet died of heart disease. He was buried in St. Peterburg, but his friends wanted to fulfil the poet`s will he had expressed in his “Testament” and carried his remains to Chernecha Hora near Kaniv.

Shevchenko's works play an important role in Ukrainian literature and history. His literary heritage consists of the collection of poems “Kobzar”, drama “Nazar Stodolia”, two dramatic pieces, 10 short stories, a diary, an autobiography in Russian and more than 250 letters.

Shevchenko was an outstanding poet and a splendid artist. He created 835 paintings, but 250 are known to be lost. His collection also contains 150 portraints, 42 self-portraits, many landscapes, watercolours and engravings.

Taras Shevchenko in the memory of generations. - Ternopil: PE "Lider", 2014. - 300 p.

Other Reading:

  • Taras Shevchenko's Family Tree
  • Shevchenko's Fellowmen


Historical person