Yevgeny Abramovich Baratynsky (Boratynsky) (1800-1844)

Yevgeny Abramovich Baratynsky (Boratynsky) is a highly original poet belonging to the «Golden Age» of Russian letters where he rightly occupies a place next to Pushkin. In the minds of his contemporaries as well as in reception of future generations Baratynsky was a poet-philosopher, who expressed in his art spiritual drama of the generation that felt the inexorable heavy tread of the»Iron Age»

He was born in Tambov Region estate of Mara that had been granted to his father, the Lieutenant-General Abram Andreevich, by Emperor Pavel I. The future poet owed his upbringing and education to his mother, Alexandra Fedorovna Baratynskaya (nee Cherepanova), graduate of Smolny Institute. In 1812 he entered one of the private Petersburg’s boarding schools and half a year later - the Page School. In 1816 Baratynsky was expelled with a scandal from this aristocratic military educational establishment for «unfit behavior» and with a prohibition to enter any service except military and only in the capacity of a file and rank soldier. He took it very hard and collapsed with a nervous fever; it was only the tireless care of the family that revived him to life.

Since 1818 Baratynsky had begun his poetic activities. He met poet A.A.Delvig, who introduced him into the «family of kind Muses». Poetry cured Baratynsky's spiritual wounds. His verses started appearing in the pages of Petersburg's magazines «Loyalist», «Son of Fatherland» and others.

Since 1819 he served in the Nyslot Infantry Regiment quartered in Finland. His elegy «Finland», poem «Eda» and a number of other poetic works made Baratynsky the fame of a «singer of Finland». In his absence he was accepted to the «Free Society of Champions of Russian Letters». Only six years later, in spring 1825, due to the insistent efforts of V.A.Zhukovsky and A.I.Turgenev Baratynsky was promoted to the officer rank. In January 1826 he retired, settled in Muranovo and married the senior daughter of the Major-General L.N.Engelgart, who became his assistant in literary affairs and curator of his manuscripts. The same year in Petersburg there was published a poetry book «Eda, a Finish story, and Feasts, a descriptive poem of Evgeny Baratynsky», and in 1827 in Moscow - the first collection of his poems that included elegies that made him famous.  «Baratynsky is a charm and a miracle. After him I will never more publish my elegies», - wrote Pushkin to A.A.Bestuzhev-Marlinsky. The expression of friendship between Baratynsky and Pushkin and the similarity of their literary views was the joint 1828 publication of the book «Two Stories in Verse» that included Pushkin's poem «Count Nulin» and Baratynsky’s poem «The Ball».

The «Moscow's period» of the poet's life was marked with new events. He tried to enter civil service and for about three years was formally an employee of the Land-Mark Office. Soon he retired from service, became closer to P.A.Vyazemsky and I.V.Kireevsky and started cooperating in the magazines »Moscow Telegraph» and »The European».

In 1831 his romantic poem «Concubine» («Gipsy») was published as a separate edition; in 1835 there appeared his second revised collection of poems that summed up his art.

The death of Delvig and Pushkin, break-up with Kireevsky, ideological discordance with the men of letters, who grouped around «The Moscow Observer», brought Baratynsky into spiritual isolation.

Having inherited the estate of Muranovo in Moscow's Region, he settled there with his family, built a new house of his own design.

In 1842 Baratynsky's third and last collection of poems was published - «Twilight» - the summit of his philosophy.

In autumn 1843 the poet with his wife and elder children undertook a foreign journey. In Paris he received warm welcome from his compatriots as well as from French writers. There he translated several of his poems into French. In April 1844 the Baratynskys arrived in Italy where the poet created his last poems, «Pyroscaph» and «To the Usher-Italian».

On July 29 1844 Baratynsky died suddenly. His body was brought to Petersburg and buried on the Tikhvinskoe cemetery of Alexander Nevsky Lavra.

Since 1920 Pushkinsky Dom has in its possession a vast family archive of the Baratynsky (Boratynsky) family: materials concerning parents, children, grandchildren and great grand children of Y.A.Baratynsky and his wife. These are autographs and copies of the poet's works, personal documents, materials concerning his biography, his own as well as his wife's and relatives' letters; documents on property and business matters and the family epistolary exchange of the poet's brother S.A.Baratynsky, his wife, their relatives, brothers and sisters, children and grandchildren, genealogical tree of the Baratynsky family; documents concerning the division of the estate and publication of the poet's works, and also personal documents and letters of his son D.A.Baratynsky. The central part of the archive comprises materials concerning the poet Yevgeny Baratynsky: autographs and copies of his poems, dramas, self-translations into French, the censorship copy of the «Twilight» collection, documents concerning his stay at the Page School, service at the Nyshlot Regiment, at the Land-Mark Office. Highly valuable are also documents of the poet A.A.Delvig whose daughter E.A.Delvig was from early childhood brought up in the family of S.A.Baratynsky.

In the Literature Museum there is preserved Y.A.Baratynsky lithographed portrait made by A.F.Ternberg that had been previously kept at Trigorskoe in the family of the Osipov-Wolfes, the watercolor portrait of the poet's brother I.A.Baratynsky painted by K.S.Osokin, several representations of the wife of I.A.Baratynsky A.D.Abamelek, portraits of her sisters - Alexandra, Anastasia and Sofia Baratynsky and E.A.Delvig created in the late 1840s by an unknown master, as well as three landscapes of the Mara estate that could have been painted by one of the Baratynskys’ sisters.

A.V. Dubrovsky