54 Facts About Taras Shevchenko


Taras Shevchenko is known for his many masterpieces as a painter and an illustrator.


Taras Shevchenko was a fellow of the Imperial Academy of Arts.


Taras Shevchenko was the third child after his sister Kateryna and brother Mykyta, in family of serf peasants Hryhoriy Ivanovych Shevchenko and Kateryna Yakymivna Shevchenko, both of whom were owned by landlord Vasily Engelhardt.


In 1816, the Shevchenko family moved back to the village of Kyrylivka in Zvenyhorodka county, where Taras' father, Hryhoriy Ivanovych, had been born.


Once, young Taras Shevchenko went looking for "the iron pillars that hold up the sky" and got lost.


At that time, Taras Shevchenko became familiar with Hryhoriy Skovoroda's works.


Taras Shevchenko treated her step-children, and particularly little Taras, with great cruelty.


Taras Shevchenko was sent to work for precentor Bohorsky who had just arrived from Kiev in 1824.


At that time Taras Shevchenko became familiar with some works of Ukrainian literature.


Soon, tired of Bohorsky's long term mistreatment, Taras Shevchenko escaped in search of a painting master in the surrounding villages.


In 1827 Taras Shevchenko was herding community sheep near his village.


Taras Shevchenko then met Oksana Kovalenko, a childhood friend, whom Shevchenko mentions in his works on multiple occasions.


Taras Shevchenko dedicated the introduction of his poem "Mariana, the Nun" to her.


In 1828, Taras Shevchenko was hired as a serving boy to a lord's court in Vilshana and obtained permission there to study with a local artist.


When Taras Shevchenko was 14, Vasily Engelhardt died and the village of Kyrylivka and all its people became a property of his son, Pavlo Engelhardt.


Taras Shevchenko was turned into a court servant of his new master at the Vilshana estates.


Taras Shevchenko boxed the ears of the boy and ordered him to be whipped in the stables with rods.


From those times, Taras Shevchenko's painting "Bust of a Woman" survived.


From that point and until 1838 Taras Shevchenko lived in the Khrestovskyi building where Shiriayev rented an apartment.


In 1833 Shevchenko painted a portrait of his master Pavlo Engelgardt.


Taras Shevchenko participated in painting of the Big Theatre as artist apprentice.


Taras Shevchenko created a composition "Alexander of Macedon shows trust towards his doctor Philip".


In Saint Petersburg Taras Shevchenko met Ukrainian artist Ivan Soshenko, who introduced him to other compatriots such as Yevhen Hrebinka and Vasyl Hryhorovych, and to Russian painter Alexey Venetsianov.


Taras Shevchenko was accepted as a student into the Academy of Arts in the workshop of Karl Briullov in the same year.


Taras Shevchenko began writing poetry while still being a serf, and in 1840 his first collection of poetry, Kobzar, was published.


In September 1841, Taras Shevchenko was awarded his third silver medal for The Gypsy Fortune Teller.


Taras Shevchenko met with prominent Ukrainian writers and intellectuals Yevhen Hrebinka, Panteleimon Kulish, and Mykhaylo Maksymovych, and was befriended by the princely Repnin family, especially Varvara.


In 1844, distressed by the condition of Ukrainian regions in the Russian Empire, Taras Shevchenko decided to capture some of his homeland's historical ruins and cultural monuments in an album of etchings, which he called Picturesque Ukraine.


Taras Shevchenko again traveled to Ukraine where he met with historian Mykola Kostomarov and other members of the Brotherhood of Saints Cyril and Methodius, a clandestine society known as Ukrainian-Slavic society and dedicated to the political liberalization of the Empire and its transformation into a federation-like polity of Slavic nations.


Taras Shevchenko was arrested together with the members of the society on 5 April 1847.


Taras Shevchenko had mocked her frumpy appearance and facial tics, which she had developed fearing the Decembrist Uprising and its plans to kill her family.


Taras Shevchenko was tasked to sketch various landscapes around the coast of the Aral Sea.


Nevertheless, Taras Shevchenko created many unique works of art about the Aral Sea nature and Kazakhstan people at a time when Russian conquest of Central Asia had begun in the middle of the nineteenth century.


Taras Shevchenko was then sent to one of the worst penal settlements, the remote fortress of Novopetrovsk at Mangyshlak Peninsula, where he spent seven terrible years.


In 1857 Taras Shevchenko finally returned from exile after receiving amnesty from a new emperor, though he was not permitted to return to St Petersburg and was forced to stay in Nizhniy Novgorod.


In May 1859, Taras Shevchenko got permission to return to Ukraine.


Taras Shevchenko intended to buy a plot of land close to the village Pekari.


Taras Shevchenko spent the last years of his life working on new poetry, paintings, and engravings, as well as editing his older works.


Taras Shevchenko was first buried at the Smolensk Cemetery in Saint Petersburg.


However, fulfilling Taras Shevchenko's wish, expressed in his poem "Testament", to be buried in Ukraine, his friends arranged the transfer of his remains by train to Moscow and then by horse-drawn wagon to his homeland.


Taras Shevchenko is considered to be "the founder of the revolutionary democratic trend in the history of Ukrainian social thought" and a utopian socialist.


Taras Shevchenko came out of the people, lived with the people, and not only by thought, but by the circumstances of life, was closely and bloodily connected with the people.


Taras Shevchenko was associated with a group of Petrashevists who, in their plans for a peasant uprising, hoped to use his revolutionary activities in Ukraine.


Taras Shevchenko advocated the unification of the Slavic peoples on a democratic basis.


Taras Shevchenko did not consider the existing social system to be unshakable, he was convinced that the serf system would be destroyed everywhere due to the development of the steam engine, a technique that would "devour the landlord-inquisitors", and that the most important role in a radical change in social life would be played by the masses.


Taras Shevchenko strove for art that is both national and realistic, and for that he earned the praise of Chernyshevsky and Russian itinerant painter Ivan Kramskoi, who drew the poet's famous portrait after his death.


Taras Shevchenko's battle poetry, which spread underground, was a sharp weapon in the fight against serfdom.


Taras Shevchenko had six siblings and at least three step-siblings, of whom only Stepan Tereshchenko is known.


Taras Shevchenko's writings formed the foundation for the modern Ukrainian literature to a degree that he is considered the founder of the modern written Ukrainian language.


Taras Shevchenko's poetry contributed greatly to the growth of Ukrainian national consciousness, and his influence on various facets of Ukrainian intellectual, literary, and national life is still felt to this day.


Taras Shevchenko inspired some of the protestors during the Euromaidan.


The first statues of Taras Shevchenko were erected in the Soviet Union as part of their Ukrainization-policies.


The 1971 edition of Taras Shevchenko's Kobzar is illustrated with reproductions of them, co-produced with Anna Vasylashchuk.


Outside of Ukraine and the former USSR, monuments to Taras Shevchenko have been put up in many countries, usually under the initiative of local Ukrainian diasporas.