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Entries / Derzhavin G.R. (1743-1816), poet, statesman

Derzhavin G.R. (1743-1816), poet, statesman

Categories / Capital/Personalia
Categories / Literature. Book Publishing/Personalia
Categories / Tsarskoe Selo and town of Pushkin. The digital chronological reference book/Pushkin personality

DERZHAVIN Gavriil Romanovich (1743-1816), poet and statesman, Full Privy Counsellor (1800). Received his primary education at the Kazan Gymnasium. Lived in St. Petersburg. From 1762, though intermittently. Entering the service as a soldier for the Preobrazhensky Life Guards Regiment, Derzhavin rose to the highest State offices. He Empress Catherine II's Personal Secretary (1791-93), Senator (from 1793), President of the Collegium of Commerce (1794, 1800), Minister of Justice, and a member of the State Assembly (1802-03). He retired in 1803. Derzhavin was first published in the St. Petersburg press in 1773, and acquired a literary reputation in the late 1770s, becoming a member of the Lvov and Derzhavin literary circle, as well as a permanent contributor to the Sankt Peterburgsky Vestnik. Many of Derzhavin's famous poems were written in St. Petersburg, such as On Prince Meschersky's Death (1779), Ode to Felicia (1783; published without the author's knowledge in the St. Petersburg journal Sobesednik Lyubiteley Rossiyskogo Slova, bringing Derzhavin fame as the first Russian poet, as well as Imperial patronage), God (1784), and Waterfall (1791-94). Derzhavin's poetic works represent an original, national version of the ode. He merges the St. Petersburg reality with Horace's ethical ideal (Picnics, 1777); his poetry reflects both the city's architectural splendour and its natural environs (Vision of Murza, 1783-84; A Walk in Tsarskoe Selo, 1791), and aspects of court life (Description of a Festival... at Prince G.A. Potemkin-Tavrichesky's, 1791). One of the main sources of information on Derzhavin's life is his Notes... (1812-13, published in 1860), where he describes a lot of St. Petersburg events, including the Palace Coup of 1762, in which he took part. He was elected a Fellow of the Russian Academy on the day of its foundation on 21 October 1783. In St. Petersburg he lived throughout the city's cultural centres. In 1790-91, he lived at 112 Fontanka River Embankment (a stone wing, which belonged to the Russian Academy); in 1791-1816, he owned a house at 118 Fontanka River Embankment (the building was completed according to a project designed by architect N.A. Lvov; a memorial plaque was installed on the building and at Derzhavin former study). From 1811, the sittings of the Discussion Club for Russian Language Lovers were held in the hall of that house. Derzhavin's residence was frequented by I.I. Dmitriev, N.M. Karamzin, M.M. Kheraskov, I.A. Krylov, N.I. Gnedich, D.S. Bortnyansky, D.G. Levitsky, and V.L. Borovikovsky. A memorial bust of Derzhavin was placed in the building yard in 1994 (sculptor M.T. Litovchenko-Anikushina, architect F.A. Gepner). In May 2003, the G.R. Derzhavin Museum of Russian Philology was opened in the building. The lane next to the building was called Derzhavinsky in 1979. Derzhavin's plaster image is a part of the monument to Catherine II.

References: Глинка Н. И. Державин в Петербурге. Л., 1985.

V. A. Kuznetsov, D.N. Cherdakov.

Catherine II, Empress
Derzhavin Gavriil Romanovich

Derzhavinsky Lane/Saint Petersburg, city
Fontanka River Embankment/Saint Petersburg, city, house 118
Fontanka River Embankment/Saint Petersburg, city, house 112

Глинка Н. И. Державин в Петербурге. Л., 1985

The subject Index
Preobrazhensky Life Guards Regiment
State Assembly
Circle of Lvov and Derzhavin
Conversations for Lovers of the Russian Word , Literary Society
Derzhavin Museum
Catherine II, Monument to