The Philosophic and Aesthetic Basis of Taras Shevchenko’s Creative Activity (to 200 Years from Kobsar’s Birthday) Cover Image

The Philosophic and Aesthetic Basis of Taras Shevchenko’s Creative Activity (to 200 Years from Kobsar’s Birthday)

Author(s): Helena Kodieva
Subject(s): Anthropology, Cultural history, Visual Arts, Ethics / Practical Philosophy, Aesthetics
Published by: Національна академія керівних кадрів культури і мистецтв
Keywords: philosophic and aesthetic basis; creation; art; the pictorial; artistic image; method of creation; inheritance of creation;

Summary/Abstract: The article deals with the philosophic and aesthetic aspects of Taras Shevchenko’s creative power. The author proves that it would be correct to talk not of the world outlook system, created by T. Shevchenko, but of the philosophic and aesthetic basis of Kobsar’s creative activity. This basis produces special artistic images. They are integral, deeply sensitive, moral – all that means pictorial. This line of T. Shevchenko’s art must be continued by the artistic heirs of great Kobsar.The article is dedicated to the 200-th anniversary of Taras Shevchenko’s birthday. The great Ukrainian poet and artist T. Shevchenko had been called ‘Kobsar’ because his creative work was deep-rooted in native culture. He was a people’s writer, painter, master of graphic art. T. Shevchenko described life of Ukrainian people as truly as famous native poets and singers, the so called Kobsars, did. That is why all the generations of Ukrainian people worship Taras Shevchenko.Every Shevchenko’s jubilee makes an opportunity to appreciate his creative heritage again and again, every time from new philosophic and aesthetic positions.So does the author of the article. She offers her own view of the traditional scientific problem: what is the nature of philosophic and aesthetic basis of Taras Shevchenko’s creative activity.As to the scientific literature on the subject, the author does not analyses it deliberately, because of enormous number widely known sources.The tasks of the article are the following: 1) to find out the creative basis of the images in T. Shevchenko’s fine art, i. his painting and graphics; 2) to find out the traits inherent to T. Shevchenko’s mentality in creative work of his followers.The philosophic and aesthetic basis of T. Shevchenko’s creative work was special, i. e. there was no strict logical system in his world outlook, as for example in the German classical philosophy. On the contrary, the philosophic and aesthetic basis of T. Shevchenko’s creative work was rooted in the broad mythical and poetic mentality of Slavic peoples, including Ukrainians, of course. This kind of mentality contained sensuality, intuition; it was full of metaphors, symbols etc. Kobsar’s artistic images were integral, deeply sensitive, moral, i. e. they were pictorial. In this aspect T. Shevchenko’s philosophic and aesthetic ideas were similar to the so called ‘philosophy of heart’. The most famous Ukrainian philosopher G. Skovoroda belonged to this trend.Mythical and poetic mood can be found everywhere in T. Shevchenko’s creative works, both in romantic and realistic ones. The examples of that mood are offered in the article. One of them is the following. The most famous T. Shevchenko’s picture ‘Catherine’ shows us what are the abilities of the critical realism when its means are used by genius. The ideas and senses of the artist are expressed in ‘Catherine’ with quantitative factors: narrative elements, signs, symbols, personifications etc. The image of Catherine symbolizes beautiful, frank, oppressed, humiliated Ukraine. An old oak-tree which is painted in the picture symbolizes strength and grandeur of Ukrainian land. Also there is a mill which symbolizes endless rotation of Ukrainian being. Then there is a figure of a people’s representative in the picture. His features resemble the features of T. Shevchenko’s face. We understand that the artist expresses his absolute sympathy for the main character of his picture. There is the only negative character in this creative work. This is a soldier from Moskovia. He had hurt Catherine and was depicted in a caricature manner.‘Catherine’ is a poetic creative work. On the contrary, another example shows keen criticism. The talk is about Shevchenko’s famous graphic series ‘The Parable of the Prodigal Son’. It contains a few pictures in which the author shows different examples of the tragedy of ‘prodigal sons’, i. e. oppressed people in Russia of the nineteenth century. We can find narrative means in this series. In this case we must remember that Taras Shevchenko was a writer first of all. But Shevchenko’s narration was neither boring, nor cold. On the contrary, it evoked sympathy for the above-named prodigal sons. The great Kobsar’s criticism was not criticism for its own sake. Its aim was ideological and sensual renewal of Ukrainian society.In contemporary culture there is an important task to continue and develop T. Shevchenko’s creative ideas. The fact is that most of contemporary artists use T. Shevchenco’s favorite romantic and realistic creative methods for solving that task. These methods are more able to transfer T. Shevchenko’s artistic images into contemporary art than it would do such methods as modernism and post-modernism. Some examples of such romantic and realistic contemporary works made by T. Shevchenko’s heirs are offered in the article. For example, the author of the article names the following Ukrainian artists: sculptor I. Kovaleridse, painters P. Kodyev, G. Melekhov, V. Kasiyan etc.As to the aspect of poetic sensuality there is a kind of spiritual connection between the memory of Kobsar and real contemporary people. ‘Connection of times’ can be realized through objects of culture which are being used for a long time. The famous Peresopnitskoye Gospel is a bright example of this. It was in Taras Shevchenko’s hands, he was delighted with it. Then it was in hands of many people. Psychologists call this phenomenon an ‘effect of hands outstretched’. Contemporary aesthetic science attaches great importance to this phenomenon.Conclusion: 1. Taras Shevchenco’s creative work has deep native philosophic and aesthetic roots. They are mythical and poetic and are as important as strict logical philosophic and aesthetic systems. 2. Kobsar uses romantic and realistic means, which can be qualified as pictorial, i. e. integral, image-bearing, deeply sensitive, moral. 3. Romantic and realistic methods are the most adequate ones in developing T. Shevchenko’s creative heritage today.