(28.02.1866 – 16.07.1949)
Was born in Moscow. Father – a small servant of the Control Chamber, died in 1871. Mother was the daughter of a Senate official; she has since childhood instilled in her son a patriarchal faith in God and a love of poetry. In the first Moscow gymnasium, which Ivanov graduated with a gold medal (1875-1884), his character and humanitarian inclinations continued to form. Twelve-year-old schoolboy, he begins to engage in ancient Greek language on his own initiative. Subsequently, he will be fluent in many European languages, including German, French and Italian.
In two years, he suddenly feels like an “extreme atheist.” And at the age of 15, the disappearance of a child’s naive faith in God will result in a spiritual crisis, which in two years will result in a suicide attempt. In 1884, he entered the History and Philology Faculty of Moscow University, for two years he studied under the guidance of the historian PG Vinogradov. Then, on his recommendation for continuing education, Ivanov and his wife leave for Berlin (1886). Moving abroad (until 1905 Ivanov came to Russia only for a short time) coincided with a new world outlook crisis.
Years of stay abroad have awakened Ivanov’s heightened interest in Russia, he began to study Vl. Solovyov and Khomyakov. Since the early 90’s. Ivanov is fond of studying Nietzsche.
In 1893, in Rome, he became acquainted with LD Zinovieva, which leads him in 1895 to the final break with his daughter and wife.
In 1895, Mr.. Ivanov finishes work on the dissertation, written in Latin, “On the Society of Miners in Rome” (published in St. Petersburg in 1910). In the future, all his vital interests are concentrated on religious, historical and aesthetic issues. He works in Athens, visits Egypt and Palestine. At the beginning of the century, Ivanov and his wife settled in Geneva, where he studied Sanskrit.
The early poetic publications of Ivanov in the Russian magazines “Cosmopolis”, “Herald of Europe” remained virtually unnoticed. The first collection of poems “Helmsman Stars” came at the expense of the author’s money in St. Petersburg in 1903. Criticism sets Ivanov’s reputation “Trediakovsky our days.” In the spring of 1903, at the Higher Russian School of Social Sciences in Paris, Ivanov lectured on ancient Dionysianism. Here at the courses Ivanov gets acquainted with V. Ya. Bryusov, with whom friendly relations are for a long time. Begins to cooperate in the Moscow “Libra”.
In 1904, the tragedy “Tantalus” was written, and in Moscow there is a “second book of lyrics” by Ivanov – “Transparency”, enthusiastically received by the Symbolists. In 1904 the articles “
In July 1905 the Ivanovs finally moved to Russia.
At first the autumn “tower” of Ivanov’s environment becomes one of the most famous literary salons of the Russian capital. The meetings on the “tower” were stopped in the autumn of 1909, when the sessions of the Poetic Academy, transformed into the Society of the Zealots of the Artistic Word, were transferred... to the Apollo editorial board.
In 1907, Ivanov’s third poetic collection Eros was published.
October 17, 1907 from scarlet fever, his wife, his “Diotima”, who the poet continued his whole life, suddenly dies on his hands. The next two and a half years, the marriage to the stepdaughter VK Shvarsalon, very much like her mother, softened, but did not obscure the living memory of Lydia Zinovieva-Annibal. Two volumes of poems “Cor ardens” (Latin “The Flaming Heart”) and a book of poems “The Gentle Mystery” (St. Petersburg, 1912) – a tribute of love to Lydia’s “sweet grave” to her daughter Vera, were a peculiar result of life on the “tower.” “Cor ardens” was highly praised by critics.
In the first decade of the new century, Ivanov takes an active part in the work of the St. Petersburg Religious and Philosophical Society, collaborates in the magazines “Libra”, “Golden Fleece”, “Trudy i den ‘”, “Russkaya mysl”, etc. In 1910-1911, teaches the history of ancient Greek literature at the Higher Women’s Courses.
Almost great glory Ivanov, not as a poet, but as one of the main theoreticians of Russian religious symbolism, brought collections of his various articles on issues of religion, philosophy, aesthetics and culture: “In the Stars” (1909), “Furrows and Margins” ( 1916), “Native and universal” (1917); “Correspondence from two angles” (1921) also adjoins here.
Ivanov proceeds to reflect on the religious and mystical destiny of mankind, world history and Russia (Man, 1915-1919). In the poem “Infancy” (1913-1918, Pbg., 1918), the poet through everyday wisdom again returns to the blessed years of his childhood. The poetic cycle “Songs of troubled times” (1918) reflected Ivanov’s rejection of the nonreligious nature of the Russian revolution. In 1919 he published the tragedy “Prometheus”, and in 1923 he finished the musical tragicomedy “Love – Mirage”.
After the events of 1917, he took part in the activities of the publishing house “Alkonost” and the journal “Notes of the Dreamers,” writes “Winter Sonnets.”
In 1921, he defends in the Caucasus doctoral thesis, which publishes the book “Dionysus and predionisijstvo”
In 1924, Ivanov was summoned to Moscow, where he, together with A. Lunacharsky, was giving a jubilee speech at the Bolshoi Theater about Pushkin. At the end of August, he left Russia forever and settled with his son and daughter in Rome. Until 1936, he retained Soviet citizenship, which does not give him the opportunity to get a job in the civil service. Ivanov is not published anywhere.
Without accepting the policies of militant atheism and remaining true to himself, Ivanov, following the example of VS Soloviev, joins Catholicism on March 17, 1926. In the years 1926-1931. he took the place of professor at the college “Carlo Borromeo”. In 1934 Ivanov moved to Rome, where he lives until the end of his days.
In the last years of his life he led a solitary way of life, met M. Buber, J. Maritain, G. Marcel, of the Russians most often with Merezhkovsky. He died in Rome.