Taras Grigorievich Shevchenko (1814-1861).
One of the most famous poets of Ukraine. But not many people know that this talented person 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 painting techniques, from easel, graphics, sepia to watercolor, oil, pencil, pen and ink. Shevchenko worked a little oil, more watercolor. In total, he created 835 paintings, prints and drawings, 270 of his works are considered lost.
The works of the early period were written with irregular strokes of different lengths intersecting in various directions, which create light effects of the contours. The style of the early works is critical realism depicting worldly plots, real landscapes and people without embellishment and romanticism.
These drawings include "Mary." Performed in 1840 to the poem of A.S. Pushkin's Poltava for publication in the almanac Morning Dawn. Shevchenko was imbued with the depth of Pushkin's lines, as was the case with his painting “Katerina,” which he drew for his poem of the same name.
Sleeping and serene Maria does not even suspect with what news her mother came to her chambers.
Maria’s husband, Getman Ivan Mazepa, is about to execute her father, his father-in-law. Mother wants to ask her daughter for protection. On a bright red and blue background, the faces of the mother and daughter are clearly distinguished, which are shown by the artist with a subtle psychologism and liveliness.
The light contrast of the picture is conveyed by the whole tragedy of the situation - the sleeping daughter, as if the serene daughter shining in the rays of the sun, and the shadow on her mother’s face, which makes her seem “blackened” from grief.
The drawing “Maria” is invaluable in that on the left is the date and signature of the author himself - the great and free singer of the Ukrainian people.
Painting by Yuon Domes and Swallows