Grigory Gagarin

Grigory Gagarin

Prince Grigory Grigorievich Gagarin ( _ru. Григорий Григорьевич Гагарин, OldStyleDate|11 May|1811|29 April - OldStyleDate|30 January|1893|18 January) was a Russian painter, Major General and administrator. [ Grigory Gagarin on Rulex Encyclopedia] ru icon]


Noble youth

Grigory Gagarin was born in Saint Petersburg to the noble Rurikid princely Gagarin family. His father, Grigory Ivanovich Gagarin, was a Russian diplomat in France and later the ambassador to Italy. [ Grigory Gagarin on Olga's art gallery] ] Thus until the age 13 the boy was with his family in Paris and Rome and then studied in the collegium Tolomei in Siena. Grigory did not receive a formal artistic education, but took private lessons from the famous Russian painter Karl Briullov who at that time lived in Italy. [ Grigory Gagarin in Staratel art library] ru icon]

In 1832 he returned to Saint Petersburg, became acquainted with Alexander Pushkin and illustrated his works "The Queen of Spades" and "The Tale of Tsar Saltan". He also became close to the opposition Circle of Sixteen and Mikhail Lermontov. [ Grigory Gagarin in Lermontov encyclopedia] ru icon]

He worked as a Russian diplomat in Paris, Rome and Istanbul; stayed two years in Munich. In 1839, after his return to Russia, he – together with Russian writer Vladimir Sollogub – travelled from Saint Petersburg to Kazan. Sollogub wrote the novel "Tarantas" about this journey, and Gagarin illustrated it.

Caucasian War

Gagarin also continued his friendship with Lermontov. In 1840 he followed the exiled Lermontov to the Caucasus in the Tengin Regiment in the Caucasian War. According to D.A. Stolypin, they lived together in the same tent. They took part in the operations against the Gortsy, the native people inhabiting the mountains of the Causasus, but also continued their creative work. There are known a few works of art labeled "Lermontoff delineavit, Gagarin pinxit" (Lermontov drew, Gagarin painted). In 1841 Lermontov was killed on a duel, but Gagarin continued his military service. In 1842 he took part in the General Chernyshyov expedition in Daghestan and served with the dragoons until 1848. He received a few orders for bravery and the military ranges of Rittmeister and Colonel.

In 1848-1855 he lived in Tiflis serving under Mikhail Semyonovich Vorontsov. Among the military and administrative duties, Gagarin did a lot of works for the city. He built a theater there, frescoed the Tbilisi Sioni Cathedral, and restored frescoes of the old Georgian cathedrals, including the Betania monastery.

Imperial Academy of Arts

In 1855 Grigory moved to Saint Petersburg to work under Grand Duchess Maria Nikolayevna, Duchess of Leuchtenberg, who was the president of the Imperial Academy of Arts. In 1858 Gagarin received the military rank of Major General. In 1859 he became the Vice President of the Imperial Academy of Arts, and he remained there until 1872. Some sources list him as the President of the Academy, probably considering the Grand Duchess to be only a formal head of the institution. As the Vice President of the Academy Gagarin supported the "Byzantine style" (Russian Revival). He built the "Museum of Early Christian Art" at the Academy. Gagarin also continued to support Lermontov's poetry, staging Lermontov's "Demon" in the royal Hermitage Theatre (1856).

Gagarin died in Châtellerault, France in 1893.



External links

* [ Grigory Gagarin on Olga's art gallery]
* [ Gagarin in Varvar's art Gallaery] ru icon

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