Biography of Zhukovsky

Vasily Zhukovsky is an outstanding Russian poet, writer, teacher and translator. For a long time, he was a teacher of Russian language and literature among members of the imperial family.

It is Zhukovsky who is the author of the text of the anthem of the Russian Empire, "God Save the Tsar!"

If you are not familiar with interesting facts from his biography, then you will certainly be interested.

So, before you biography of Zhukovsky.

Short biography of Zhukovsky

Vasily Andreyevich Zhukovsky was born on February 9, 1783 in the village of Mishensky, Tula province. His biography is full of various interesting events from the first years of life, although there is still no consensus among researchers about what Zhukovsky’s childhood really was.

Childhood and youth

According to the most common version, the father of the future poet, Afanasy Bunin, was a major major and landowner. Once, one of his colleagues presented him with 2 sisters captured in Turkey.

Soon the younger sister died, and only one girl survived, named Salha. At that time she was only 16 years old. Over time, she was baptized and became known as Elizabeth Dementieva.

The official wife of Athanasius Bunin was Maria Grigorievna. However, Bunin repeatedly cheated on his wife with a Turkish woman.

As a result of these ties, he had a bastard son, named Basil.

Portrait of V.A. Zhukovsky, 1820s

Soon, he was adopted by Andrei Grigorievich Zhukovsky, who lived in the rich house of the Bunins. He gave the boy his last name and patronymic.

When the child was only 2 years old, Bunin’s father recorded him as a sergeant of the Astrakhan Hussars, and 4 years later announced that he was no longer a sergeant, but an ensign.

Soon the "soldier" was dismissed.

Zhukovsky's first teacher was his stepfather Andrei Grigorievich. A few years later, Andrei Bunin met a prominent writer Pokrovsky.

He agreed with him to study his bastard son. Pokrovsky agreed, but he failed to find an approach to Zhukovsky. As a result, he told his father that Vasya did not have any learning abilities.

In 1791, at the age of 75, Athanasius Ivanovich Bunin died. He bequeathed his condition to four daughters. However, his wife still handed 10,000 rubles to Vasily, which in those times was a decent amount.

When Zhukovsky was 8 years old, he was sent to the Main School of the People, from which he was soon expelled because of his “inability”.

Portrait of V.A. Zhukovsky, 1815

Without thinking twice, he decides to go to the half-sister Barbara Yushkova. Arriving to her, the young man first saw the home theater, located on the estate.

He was so fascinated by him that he immediately wanted to become a playwright.

The first work in the biography of Zhukovsky was the tragedy "Camille, or Liberated Rome."

After that, he continues to engage in writing and devotes a lot of time to self-development and the study of languages.

However, the lack of education markedly affected the quality of his works. Seeing how much my brother liked literature, his sister helped Vasili arrange a Moscow university boarding school.

When he came to the exam, Zhukovsky showed a good level of French and German. He also managed to show good knowledge in relation to literature, as a result of which Zhukovsky was accepted into an educational institution.

As a student, he met Andrei Turgenev, who gave him a lot of useful advice, and positively influenced his work. It is interesting that it was at this time that the poet began to write his first poems.


At the beginning of his writing career, Vasily Zhukovsky faced material difficulties. He earned his living by doing various translations.

Soon his talent was appreciated by his contemporaries. While studying at the Moscow boarding house, the poet met Nikolai Karamzin, who would become his friend and mentor.

If Zhukovsky did not do this or that job well, Karamzin began to criticize his work, but at the same time he did not forget about praise.

Thanks to honest and objective criticism, Vasily Andreevich was able to raise the level of writing skills and become an excellent translator.

Soon he began to create the ballad "Svetlana", on which he worked hard for 4 years. When Alexander Pushkin read the work, he praised Zhukovsky’s talent.

Interestingly, both poets became friends in the future, although Zhukovsky was almost 20 years older than Pushkin.

So, Vasily Andreyevich was still engaged in translations of poetry. His translations had a special clarity and richness.

At the same time, Zhukovsky did not forget about his own work. In 1822 he published the elegy "The Sea", created in the spirit of romanticism.

Since the writer was often surrounded by children, this prompted him to compose fairy tales.

Krylov, Pushkin, Zhukovsky and Gnedich in the Summer Garden, 1832

Over the 30 years of his biography, Zhukovsky wrote 7 fairy tales that are not losing their popularity even today.

The most famous of them are "The Sleeping Princess", "Puss in Boots" and "The Tale of Ivan the Tsarevich and the Gray Wolf."

Mentor royal family

At the age of 32, Vasily Zhukovsky entered the service in the royal family. The first years he was a reader of the mother-Empress Maria Feodorovna. The next 25 years, the poet will be in the court service.

In 1817, Vasily Andreevich was actively engaged in teaching activities. He teaches the Russian language and literature to the wife of Nicholas 1 - Alexandra Feodorovna.

Soon the student of Zhukovsky becomes, and the wife of Grand Duke Mikhail Pavlovich - Elena Pavlovna. Later, in addition to language and literature, he begins to teach philosophy, history and aesthetics.

After some time, he was appointed mentor of the Cesarevites, whom he had to teach in various sciences. Since Zhukovsky was not only a talented teacher, but also a psychologist, he managed to find a common language with all students.

Classes that were conducted by other teachers, did not go unnoticed by the poet. He always tried to give his colleagues good advice on how to improve the learning process.

Zhukovsky sought to educate the crown prince in such a way that he was not only an educated sovereign, but also had high moral qualities.

When Prince Alexander reached the age of majority, Vasily Andreevich gave the Tsarevich an interesting gift in the form of an “educational trip”. Together with his mentor, the future sovereign visited many Russian cities and European states.

By 1841, the relationship between representatives of the royal family and Zhukovsky deteriorated sharply. As a result, the poet collected all his belongings and went to Germany.

Personal life

In the biography of Zhukovsky there was only one beloved girl, whose name was Elizabeth. He first saw her when he was 56 years old, and she was only 17.

Romantic relations developed between them, but Elizabeth’s father insisted that their meetings cease.

And although it was not easy for Vasily Zhukovsky to part with his beloved, he still took this step, because Elizabeth's father was his friend.

However, he, one way or another, continued to maintain relations with the girl, proving her love to her.

After 2 years, Zhukovsky proposed to her and received consent.

Seeing such perseverance, Lisa's father did not consider it necessary to oppose the wedding.

Despite the fact that Zhukovsky's wife was prone to illness and nervous breakdowns, the marriage turned out to be happy.

The couple really wanted to have a child, but instead, Elizabeth had miscarriages several times.

She finally managed to give birth to a girl, and after 3 years a boy.


In recent years, Vasily Zhukovsky lived in Baden-Baden. In 1851, he began to see everything worse in one eye, so doctors advised him more often to be in dark rooms.

During this period, he experienced severe nostalgia for his homeland. It is worth noting that Chaadaev and Gogol always supported him, writing encouraging letters to him.

After a few months, Zhukovsky’s eyes were seriously inflamed, as a result of which he could no longer read and write. After that, his state of health began to deteriorate rapidly.

April 12, 1852 Vasily Andreevich Zhukovsky died. He lived for 69 years, leaving behind a large legacy.

The Russian poet, teacher, literary critic and translator was buried in the Tikhvin cemetery, not far from the grave of his mentor and friend Nikolai Karamzin.

Watch the video: Stanislav Yulianovich Zhukovsky art (April 2020).