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The portrait of the poet and artist Taras Grigorievich Shevchenko was commissioned by philanthropist Pavel Tretyakov. The image of the Ukrainian poet was to replenish the collection of artistic images of eminent artists.
By the time the canvas was created, Taras Shevchenko had already passed away. To complete a creative assignment, Ivan Kramskoy had to resort to the technique of writing a picture from a photograph. This was not always encouraged by fellow painters. Before the embodiment of the idea on canvas, the artist did a voluminous work on the study of the archives of a publicist. He carefully studied the life and habits of Taras Shevchenko.
The ability of Ivan Nikolaevich to convey a person’s view was particularly successful with customers. Including for this he was appreciated by the founder of the Tretyakov Gallery. During the reconstruction of the image, the author managed to convey the hero’s wisdom and concern for the fate of the Slavic peoples.
Not knowing the history of the canvas, it is difficult to assume that at the disposal of Kramskoy there was no way to work with nature. The appearance of the hero is conveyed in detail. Luxurious mustache, texture of materials and a fantastic white collar. Only a background without draperies, home decoration and a sepia tone inherent in old photographs can give a hint to the viewer.
According to art critics, Kramskoy managed to convey more information about the person to the audience than the original photo. Ivan Kramskoy captured for the descendants of one of his most interesting contemporaries in a true and unique guise. The portrait of Taras Shevchenko by the artist is presented at the Tretyakov Gallery in Moscow.
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