Taras Shevchenko wrote "Katerina" in 1838, in St. Petersburg, when he was 24 years old. It was in the same year that he was bought out of serfdom from Baron Englehardt by a group of St. Petersburg artists and intellectuals. This poem is dedicated to the Russian writer Zhukovsky, who posed for Karl Bryullov, the leading artist of the time. The portrait was sold for 2,500 rubles, to raise the purchase price of Taras Shevchenko’s freedom. The poem “Katerina” was first printed in the 1840 edition of “Kobzar”, and many of the passages were censored. In it, Shevchenko brings out the life of the serfs of that period, the status of women, and expresses his hatred of the tsarist regime which kept Ukraine in bondage.