Mykola Yaroshenko’s talent in the field of portrait painting was recognized during his lifetime. Critics put the artist’s name on a par with such famous portraitists as Ivan Kramsky and Ilya Repin. Created by M.O. Yaroshenko portraits impress with their sharp observation, great truthfulness, and extraordinary attention to the inner world of the person portrayed. He never made portraits to order, because, as Maria Pavlivna noted, “he could not paint those people who did not represent any spiritual interest, despite the fact that he was not financially secure.” The artist Mykhailo Nesterov saw in the portraits of Mykola Yaroshenko “beautiful, subtle analysis of the characteristics of prominent people”, especially noting among them the images of P.A. Strepetov, K.D. Kavelin, V.S. Solovyov and I.I. Shishkin.
The Poltava Art Museum (Art Gallery) named after Mykola Yaroshenko keeps portraits of V.G. Uspenska, M.M. Kovalevsky, P.S. Solovyova, S.M. Amosov. The self-portrait of the artist of 1875 and the paired portrait of his wife Maria Pavlivna deserve exceptional attention.