1822 - October
Shevchenko begins to study reading and writing under the tutelage
of church deacons.
1825 - March
Taras is orphaned.
1828 - Autumn
The Engelhardt household, including Shevchenko, moves to Vilnius,
Because of rising popular unrest in Poland and Lithuania, Engelhardt
moves his entourage to St. Petersburg and the following year apprentices
Shevchenko to the painter Shiryaev for four years.
1835 - July
While drawing statues in the St. Petersburg Summer Gardens, Shevchenko
is noticed by fellow countryman and art student, I.Soshenko, who
recognized Taras's talent.
1838 - April 22
In his 24th year, Shevchenko's freedom is purchased for 2,500 rubles
raised by a lottery of a painting of V.Zhukovsky by K.Bryullov.
1840 - Spring
The first collection of Shevchenko's poems is published under the
title Kobzar("Minstrel"). It became a harbinger
of the works of one of the greatest humanist writers of all times.
1843 - April
On the trip to Ukraine, Shevchenko visits cities and villages, including
Kirilivka, (for the first time in 14 years); draws studies and sketches,
continues to write.
Shevchenko graduated from the Imperial Academy of Arts and leaves
on his second trip to Ukraine. In Kiev he is appointed to the Archeological
Commission. During this year he writes "Zapovit"
Shevchenko participates in the Society of Cyril and Metody which
was opposed to serfdom.
1847 - April 5
Shevchenko is arrested by the Tsarist Russian police, underwent
extensive questioning and was sentenced to 25 years military service
and exile in distant Orenburg, with an order in the Tsar's handwriting
forbidding him to write and paint.
A humane officer allowed Shevchenko to participate, as an artist,
in an expedition to explore the Aral Sea.
1849 - November
Shevchenko returns with the expedition to Orenburg. He continues
to write poems in small notebooks which he hides in his boot.
Shevchenko is arrested again for disobeying orders not to write
or paint, and banished still further to Novopetrovsk Fortress on
the eastern shore of the Caspian Sea (today, Fort Shevchenko).
After the death of Nicholas I, Shevchenko's name was crossed off
the amnesty list
Shevchenko released after a long and insistent intercession of friends.
He travels to Nizhny Novgorod; however, he is not allowed to enter
After another intercession, he journeys to St. Petersburg via a
visit to Moscow.
Shevchenko visits family and friends in Ukraine. In July he is arrested
again and accused of making anti-government and blasphemous speeches,
barred from living in Ukraine and returned to St. Petersburg.
1860 - January
Shevchenko's Kobzar, the third edition during his lifetime,
is published. During this year, Shevchenko concentrates on engraving
with aquatint; art which was more available to the general population.
In this year the Academy of Arts Council awards Shevchenko the title
of Engraver Academician.
October - Shevchenko fell ill.
In February Shevchenko wrote his last verse.
On March 10 Taras Shevchenko died.
On March 12 he was buried in Smolensk Cementery, St. Petersburg
On May 6 his body was disinterred and moved to Kaniv.
On May 22 he was buried on Chernecha hill near Kaniv by the Dnieper
* * *
Apprising the comparatively brief but very fruitful creative path
of Shevchenko the artist, - authoritative sources indicate that
he produced over 1,000 works of art - he is acknowledged as one
of the most outstanding realist painters in mid-19th century Ukrainian
and Russian art.
For over 150 years his writings - especially his poetry - have
been published in thousands of volumes, including translations into
the major world languages. Taras Shevchenko, founder of the new
Ukrainian literature, is justifiably considered one of the greatest
humanist writers of all times.
Biography of Taras Shevchenko