Biography of Derzhavin

Biography of Derzhavin

Gavriil Romanovich Derzhavin – Russian poet and playwright, the largest representative of Russian classicism, an educator. A well-known statesman of the 18th century at the court of Catherine II.

Childhood, education, military service

Poet Derzhavin Gavriil Romanovich was born July 3, 1743 in the province of Kazan in a family of impoverished nobles. His childhood passed in a family estate in the village of Sokury. Since 1759 Derzhavin studied at the Kazan Gymnasium.

In 1762, the future poet acted as an ordinary guardsman to serve in the Preobrazhensky regiment. In 1772 he was promoted to ensign, having received the first officer rank. In 1773 – 1775 Derzhavin as a member of the regiment participated in the suppression of the Emelian Pugachev uprising.


Since 1777 Derzhavin entered the civil service in the Government Senate in the rank of State Councilor. In 1784 – 1788 he held the post of governor of Olonets, and then of Tambov vicegerency. Even in the brief biography of Derzhavin, it should be mentioned that he was actively engaged in improving the economy of the province, helped to form provincial administrative, judicial and financial institutions.

In 1791 Derzhavin appointed Cabinet-Secretary of Catherine II. From 1793 the poet serves as a secret adviser to the empress. In 1795 Derzhavin received the post of president of the Commerce College. From 1802 to 1803 he served as Minister of Justice.

Last years of life

In 1803 Derzhavin resigned and settled in his estate Zvanka in Novgorod province. The last years of life the poet devotes to literary activity. In 1813, Derzhavin, whose biography was full of travel even during this period, goes to Ukraine with a visit to V. V. Kapnist. In 1815, he attended the exam at the Tsarskoye Selo Lyceum, listening to the works of young Alexander Pushkin.

July 8, 1816 Gabriel Romanovich Derzhavin died on his estate. The poet was buried in the Transfiguration Cathedral of the Varlaamo-Khutyn Monastery near Veliky Novgorod.


Creativity Gabriel Derzhavin is considered

the pinnacle of Russian classicism. The poet’s first works appeared during his military service. In 1773, Derzhavin made his debut in the magazine “Old and New” with the translation of the passage “Iroizha, or Letters of Vivlida to Kavna” from the works of Ovid. In 1774, the light saw works of “Ode to Greatness” and “Ode to Nobility”.

In 1776 the first collection of poetry poems “Ode translated and composed with Mount Chitalago” was published.

Since 1779, Derzhavin departs from the traditions laid down by Sumarokov and Lomonosov, working on philosophical lyrics. In 1782, the ode “Felitsa” was published, dedicated to Empress Catherine II, who brought the poet a wide literary fame. Soon there appeared other famous works of Derzhavin – “The Grandee”, “Eugene Life Zvan”, “On the death of Prince Meshchersky,” “God”, “Dobrynya,” “Waterfall,” “Herod and Mariamna,” etc.

In 1808, Derzhavin’s collected works were published in four volumes.

Interesting Facts
    The Derzhavin family originates from the son of Tatar Murza Bagrim, who bore the name of the State. The first wife of GR Derzhavin was Catherine Bastidon, daughter of the Portuguese Bastidon, the former valet of Peter III. Derzhavin studied German from the age of seven, read Klopstock, Gellert, Kleist, Galler, Gagedorn in the original, which significantly affected his literary work. Derzhavin’s poem “Thunder of victory, give out!”, Created in 1891, was the first unofficial anthem of Russia. For the differences in the public service Derzhavin Gavriil Romanovich was awarded the Order of Alexander Nevsky, the Order of St. John of Jerusalem, the Order of St. Anne of the 1st degree, the Order of St. Vladimir of the 3rd and 2nd degree.

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Biography of Derzhavin