Taras Shevchenko

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Taras Shevchenko:

Taras Shevchenko

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Taras Hryhorovych Shevchenko ( Ukrainian : Тара́с Григо́рович Шевче́нко, Russian : Тара́с Григо́рьевич Шевче́нко, Taras Grigoryevich Shevchenko ), (March 9 [ O.S. February 25] 1814 – March 10 [ O.S. February 26] 1861) was a Ukrainian poet , artist and humanist . His literary heritage is regarded to be the foundation of modern Ukrainian literature and, to a large extent, the modern Ukrainian language . Shevchenko also wrote in Russian and left many masterpieces as a painter and an illustrator.

Life :

Born into a serf family of Hryhoriy Ivanovych Shevchenko (1782? - 1825) and Kateryna Yakymivna Shevchenko ( Boiko ) (1782? - August 6, 1823) in the village of Moryntsi , of Kiyv Governorate of the Russian Empire (now in Cherkasy Oblast , Ukraine ) Shevchenko was orphaned at the age of eleven. [1] He was taught to read by a village precentor , and loved to draw at every opportunity. Shevchenko went as a household servant with his Russian aristocrat lord Pavel Engelhardt to Vilnius (1828–31) and then to Saint Petersburg . " Engelhardt noticed Shevchenko's artistic talent, and apprenticed him in Vilnius to Jan Rustem , then in Saint Petersburg to Vasiliy Shiriaev for four years... There he met the Ukrainian artist Ivan Soshenko , who introduced him to other compatriots such as Yevhen Hrebinka and Vasyl Hryhorovych , and to the Russian painter Alexey Venetsianov . Through these men Shevchenko also met the famous painter and professor Karl Briullov , who donated his portrait of the Russian poet Vasily Zhukovsky as a lottery prize, whose proceeds were used to buy Shevchenko's freedom on May 5, 1838." [1] Life

First successes :

In the same year Shevchenko was accepted as a student into the Academy of Arts in the workshop of Karl Briullov . The next year he became a resident student at the Association for the Encouragement of Artists . At the annual examinations at the Imperial Academy of Arts , Shevchenko was given a Silver Medal for a landscape. In 1840 he again received the Silver Medal, this time for his first oil painting, The Beggar Boy Giving Bread to a Dog . He began writing poetry while he was a serf and in 1840 his first collection of poetry, Kobzar , was published. Ivan Franko , the renowned Ukrainian poet in the generation after Shevchenko, had this to say of the compilation: "[ Kobzar ] immediately revealed, as it were, a new world of poetry. It burst forth like a spring of clear, cold water, and sparkled with a clarity, breadth and elegance of artistic expression not previously known in Ukrainian writing". First successes

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In 1841, the epic poem Haidamaky was released. In September 1841, Shevchenko was awarded his third Silver Medal for The Gypsy Fortune Teller . Shevchenko also wrote plays. In 1842, he released a part of the tragedy Mykyta Hayday and in 1843 he completed the drama Nazar Stodolya . While residing in Saint Petersburg, Shevchenko made three trips to the regions of modern Ukraine , in 1843, 1845, and 1846. The difficult conditions under which his countrymen lived had a profound impact on the poet-painter. Shevchenko visited his still enserfed siblings and other relatives, met with prominent Ukrainian writers and intellectuals such as: Yevhen Hrebinka , Panteleimon Kulish , and Mykhaylo Maksymovych , and was befriended by the princely Repnin family especially Varvara Repnina . In 1844, distressed by the condition of Ukrainian regions in the Russian Empire , Shevchenko decided to capture some of his homeland's historical ruins and cultural monuments in an album of etchings, which he called Picturesque Ukraine .

Exile :

On March 22, 1845, the Council of the Academy of Arts granted Shevchenko the title of an artist. He again travelled to Ukraine where he met historian Nikolay Kostomarov and other members of the Brotherhood of Saints Cyril and Methodius , a Pan- Slavist political society dedicated to the political liberalization of the Empire and transforming it into a federation -like polity of Slavic nations. Upon the society's suppression by the authorities, Shevchenko was arrested along with other members on April 5, 1847. Although he probably was not an official member of the Brotherhood, during the search his poem "The Dream" ( "Son" ) was found. This poem attacked Slavophilism , personally attacked Emperor Nicholas I and his wife Alexandra Feodorovna , and therefore was considered extremely inflammatory, and of all the members of the dismantled society Shevchenko was punished most severely. Exile

Death of Shevchenko :

Т aras Shevchenko spent the last years of his life working on new poetry, paintings, and engravings, as well as editing his older works. But after his difficult years in exile his final illness proved too much. Shevchenko died in Saint Petersburg on March 10, 1861, the day after his 47th birthday. He was first buried at the Smolensk Cemetery in Saint Petersburg. However, fulfilling Shevchenko's wish, expressed in his poem "Testament" ( " Zapovit " ), to be buried in Ukraine , his friends arranged to transfer his remains by train to Moscow and then by horse-drawn wagon to his native land. Shevchenko's remains were buried on May 8 on Chernecha Hill (Monk's Hill; now Taras Hill ) by the Dnieper River near Kaniv . [1] A tall mound was erected over his grave, now a memorial part of the Kaniv Museum-Preserve. Dogged by terrible misfortune in love and life, the poet died seven days before the Emancipation of Serfs was announced. His works and life are revered by Ukrainians and his impact on Ukrainian literature is immense. Death of Shevchenko

Impact :

Т aras Shevchenko has a unique place in Ukrainian cultural history and in world literature . His writings formed the foundation for the modern Ukrainian literature to a degree that he is also considered the founder of the modern written Ukrainian language (although Ivan Kotlyarevsky pioneered the literary work in what was close to the modern Ukrainian in the end of the eighteenth century.) 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. Influenced by Romanticism , Shevchenko managed to find his own manner of poetic expression that encompassed themes and ideas germane to Ukraine and his personal vision of its past and future. Impact

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In view of his literary importance, the impact of his artistic work is often missed, although his contemporaries valued his artistic work no less, or perhaps even more, than his literary work. A great number of his pictures, drawings and etchings preserved to this day testify to his unique artistic talent. He also experimented with photography and it is little known that Shevchenko may be considered to have pioneered the art of etching in the Russian Empire (in 1860 he was awarded the title of Academician in the Imperial Academy of Arts specifically for his achievements in etching.) [4]

Example of poetry: "Testament" (Zapovit):

Example of poetry: "Testament" ( Zapovit ) Testament ( Zapovit ) When I am dead, bury me In my beloved Ukraine, My tomb upon a grave mound high Amid the spreading plain, So that the fields, the boundless steppes, The Dnieper's plunging shore My eyes could see, my ears could hear The mighty river roar. When from Ukraine the Dnieper bears Into the deep blue sea The blood of foes ... then will I leave These hills and fertile fields -- I'll leave them all and fly away To the abode of God, And then I'll pray .... But till that day I nothing know of God. Oh bury me, then rise ye up And break your heavy chains And water with the tyrants' blood The freedom you have gained. And in the great new family, The family of the free, With softly spoken, kindly word Remember also me.

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