TARAS SHEVCHENKO’S LIFE AND WORK
(part of Shevchenko's biography by Professor C.H. Andrusyshen)
"Portrait of Vasily Zhukovsky"
Among this coterie it then became a question of freeing Shevchenko from serfdom; and it was finally decided that Briullov would paint a portrait of Zhukovsky that would be auctioned off at the imperial court for at least 2,500 rubles, the sum demanded by Engelhardt for Shevchenko's liberation. The portrait was bought by the Empress Oleksandra Fedorovna, and on April 22, 1838, Shevchenko received a document signed by his landlord releasing him from serfdom. He was then twenty-four years of age. And so, from Shiryayev’s workshop Shevchenko now moved as Briullov's student to the comfortable classes of the Academy of Art in which he was permitted to enrol. His friendship with Briullov continued strong, and he would at times spend days on end in the painter's private quarters where specialized books, journals, and other means of increasing his knowledge of art were placed at his disposal.
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