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Orest Adamovich Kiprenskii (1778-1836)  Portrait of Konstantin Nikolayevich Batyushkov, 1815  Italian pencil, paper  The State Literature Museum, Moscow, Russia
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Title: Konstantin Batyushkov
Description:

Orest Adamovich Kiprenskii (1778-1836)
Portrait of Konstantin Nikolayevich Batyushkov, 1815
Italian pencil, paper
The State Literature Museum, Moscow, Russia



Konstantin Nikolayevich Batyushkov (Russian: Êîíñòàíòè́í Íèêîëà́åâè÷ Áà́òþøêîâ; 29 May [O.S. 18 May] 1787, Vologda - 19 July [O.S. 7 July] 1855, Vologda) was an important precursor of Alexander Pushkin in Russian poetry.

Batyushkov was brought up in the house of his uncle Mikhail Muravyov, who was reputed for his light and humorous poetry. At an early age he became fascinated with the Italian language and set out to Italianize Russian poetry. Batyushkov's most important poems were written between 1809 and 1812 and collected into a slender volume in 1817. Pushkin's copy of the book survives, with his curious remarks on the Italianate music and technique of Batyushkov's mellifluous verse.

About 1823 Batyushkov went mad. During the period of his mental illness, he still made weird attempts at versification. His rare poems this period are impeccable metrically but their meaning is not clear, e.g., "I only wake to fall asleep / And sleep, to wake without end", his last lines 1853. Such pieces fascinated the 20th-century poet Osip Mandelstam, who repeatedly addressed Batyushkov's life and poetry in his essays and verse.

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Orest Adamovich Kiprenskii (1778-1836)  Farm boy, 1814  White, pencil on paper  23.7 õ 20 cm  The Tretyakov Gallery in Moscow, RussiaOrest Adamovich Kiprenskii (1778-1836)  Portrait of Konstantin Nikolayevich Batyushkov, 1815  Italian pencil, paper  The State Literature Museum, Moscow, RussiaOrest Adamovich Kiprenskii (1778-1836)  Portrait unknown (with neckerchief neck), 1829  Italian pencil on paper  The State Russian Museum, St. Petersburg, Russia
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