The real miracle of Russian culture of the XVIII century. and at the same time the genius of MV Lomonosov is a deeply natural product of it. On the variety of gifts, he was related to the titans of the European Renaissance, by the weight of the contribution to the development of Russian culture – the equal to Peter I, in scope and focus of activity – consonant with the spirit of the Enlightenment and the process of transformation of the country. “Combining extraordinary willpower with the extraordinary power of the concept, Lomonosov embraced all branches of education,” AS Pushkin wrote, “The thirst for science was the strongest passion of this soul, full of passions.” The historian, the rhetorician, the mechanic, the chemist, the minerologist, the artist
Incredible seems the fate of this genius-nugget, in conditions of the autocratic-feudal state that managed to overcome the path from a simple illiterate peasant son to the first magnitude of Russian science. The history of his life, according to the poet of the XIX century. NA Nekrasov, is a story about how,
how the Archangel man,
by his and God’s will,
became intelligent and great.
Mihailo was born November 8, 1711 in the family of a well-to-do but illiterate peasant in a village not far from the city of Kholmogory, located about one hundred and fifty kilometers from the White Sea. This land, called Pomorie, did not know serf bondage, and the people in it lived a special – independent, proud, full of self-respect. In the conditions of severe northern nature, strong and hardy people were formed, possessing courage, ingenuity and perseverance. Accustomed to naval affairs, Pomors have long been familiar with the compass and telescope, knew the basics of navigation. From his childhood, Mikhailo went out with his father to the sea. Nature and
Having obtained from the villagers two best books for those times – one on grammar, and the second on arithmetic, the young man mastered the basics of both sciences. These books, later called by Lomonosov the “gates” of his scholarship, awakened in him a frenzied craving for knowledge, forcing him to leave his native village and on foot, along with a fish baggage, to go to study in Moscow. There, posing as a nobleman, Lomonosov entered the Slavic-Greek-Latin Academy, which he brilliantly finished, despite the need and deprivation that accompanied all the years of his studies. In 1735, among the best graduates of the Academy, he was sent to continue his education first to St. Petersburg, and then to Marburg, where he was one of the oldest universities in Germany, where the philosopher H. Wolf was taught, whose work then studied philosophy throughout Europe. After the University of Marburg, Lomonosov traveled for several years in Germany and Holland, from time to time experiencing dangerous adventures. Once, for example, he was tried to enlist in the Prussian Guard and imprisoned in the fortress from which he fled.
In 1741, MV Lomonosov returned to Russia, where four years later he became a professor of chemistry and a full member of the St. Petersburg Academy of Sciences, in whose service he served until the end of his life. He had to constantly fight with malotalantvymi and poorly educated colleagues, envious detractors, swaggering foreigners. However, thanks to his own giftedness, indomitable energy and outstanding internal strength, and besides, also to the patronage of the favorite of Empress Elizaveta Count Shuvalov, Lomonosov managed to become the most influential person in the academic milieu. The scientist used his high position to place science and art at the proper height and thereby contribute to the transformation of Russia into a civilized, advanced state with abundant fruits. To educate the country, he has done so much and in so many areas, that Pushkin’s definition of “our first university” almost loses its figurative meaning. Unfortunately, the last years of Lomonosov’s life were overshadowed: Catherine II, who took the throne after Elizabeth’s death, supported her associates in the Academy, and Mikhail Vasilievich, who did not belong to them, actually remained out of work. However, the disgrace of the Empress, which deprived the genius of the opportunity to realize his inexhaustible potential, could not belittle his great glory.
Even during his lifetime, MV Lomonosov received international recognition. In 1760 he was elected an honorary member of the Swedish Academy of Sciences, four years later he was honored with the same honor by the Bologna Academy of Sciences in Italy. It is noteworthy that the scholar’s contribution to the development of Russian fine arts was also highly appreciated: in 1763 he became an honorary member of the Petersburg Academy of Arts. The diverse scientific and educational activity of MV Lomonosov was invariably aimed at achieving practical results and was invariably inspired by the idea of disinterested service to the fatherland. This also manifested remarkable genius of the genius in which the “archangel man” and the great scientist, a European-educated and Russian intellectual thinker, Enlightenment enthusiast and patriot of his homeland, melded.