Taras Shevchenko G. (1814-1861).
One of the most famous poets of Ukraine. But not many people know that this talented man also had the gift of an artist.
At the Academy of Arts, which he graduated with honors, he was called “Russian Rembrandt” and predicted a brilliant career. He perfectly mastered almost all the techniques of painting, ranging from easel, graphics, sepia and ending with watercolor, oil, pencil, pen and ink. Oil Shevchenko worked a little more watercolor. Total created 835 paintings, prints and drawings, 270 of his works are considered lost. The works of the early period are written with irregular, intersecting in different directions strokes of different lengths, which create the lighting effects of the contours. The style of early works is critical realism, depicting everyday plots, real landscapes and people without embellishment and romanticism.
These drawings include “Mary.” Completed in 1840 to the poem A. S. Pushkin “Poltava” for publication in the almanac “Morning Dawn”. Shevchenko imbued with the depth of Pushkin’s lines, as was the case with his picture “Katerina”, which he painted for his eponymous poem. Sleeping and serene Maria does not even suspect what news came to her mother in her chambers.
Maria’s husband, Getman Ivan Mazepa, is going to execute her father, his father-in-law. Mother wants to ask for protection from her daughter. On a bright red and blue background, the faces of the mother and daughter stand out clearly, which are shown by the artist with subtle psychologism and vivacity.
The luminous contrast of the picture conveys the entire tragedy of the situation – asleep, as if glowing in the sun, a serene daughter and a shadow on her mother’s face, making her “blackened” from grief. The drawing “Maria” is invaluable because it has a date and the signature of the author himself – the great and free singer of the Ukrainian people.