(1822 – 1899)
Grigorovich Dmitry Vasilievich (1822 – 1899), prose writer, translator. Born March 19 (31 N. s.) In Simbirsk in the family of a poor landowner. Early left without a father, was brought up by his mother, a Frenchwoman by birth, who spoke only French, so she learned Russian from the courtyards. Education received in private German and French boarding houses in Moscow (1832 – 35).
In 1836 he entered the Petersburg Main Engineering School, where he made friends with F. Dostoyevsky. The career of the officer did not attract him, so Grigorovich leaves school in 1840 and enters the Academy of Arts, but soon leaves it.
In 1842 he was appointed to serve in the Directorate of the Imperial Theaters, he started a circle of acquaintances among literati. In 1845 he collaborated with N. Nekrasov in the almanac “The Physiology of Petersburg”, wrote an essay “St. Petersburg Sharman”, noted Belinsky. In 1847 the novel “Anton Goremyka” came out, which brought Grigorovich real literary glory and unanimous approval of readers, writers and critics. This is followed by “Back roads” (1852), “Fishermen” (1853), which became a notable phenomenon in the literary life of that time.
The following works by Grigorovich “The Settlers” (1855) and “Plowman” (1856) were met critically, because they expected him to do otherwise. During this period there was a sharp struggle between the supporters of “pure art” and the revolutionary democrats, but Grigorovich tried to stay away from it: “… Right, the soul is filled with articles full of hatred…” he wrote to Nekrasov.
In 1858 – 59 the writer accepted the invitation of the Ministry of Marine to make a trip on a military ship, which is told in the travel essays “Ship” Retvizan “in which he found the place to describe the architecture and art he was known as a connoisseur of painting and sculpture and collector..
From 1864 he became secretary of the Society for the Encouragement of Artists, where he worked for about twenty years,
In 1883 Grigorovich resumed his literary activity with the narrative “Gutta-percha boy”, called criticism “a small masterpiece.” In these same years he appears as an interpreter (the story of P. Merimo “Etruscan Vase”).
In the last years of his life he works on “Literary Memoirs”, drawing portraits of I. Turgenev, L. Tolstoy and others for future generations. Grigorovich died on December 22, 1899 (January 3, 1900) in St. Petersburg. He was buried at Volkov cemetery.
A short biography from the book: Russian writers and poets. A short biographical dictionary. Moscow, 2000.