In total, Pushkin created about sixty self-portraits.

Pushkin in early childhood

The iconography of Pushkin opens with his portrait in early childhood. It was executed on a small metal plate with oil paints at the very beginning of the last century in Moscow, where the poet’s family lived. The exact name of the creator is not known. It is assumed that the author of the miniature with a portrait of Pushkin as a child is Xavier de Maistre, now almost forgotten, but very interesting and original amateur artist, writer and scientist, a frequent guest of the Pushkin family.

In Novikov’s book Pushkin in Exile, the Pushkin family legend is given.

In the house of the parents of the future poet, both the New Year and the new 19th century were celebrated at once. At the most solemn moment, awakened by the festive noise and merriment, a little over a year and a half old boy appeared on the threshold, and his mother, Nadezhda Osipovna; invited the guests to admire a man who had just crossed the threshold of the nineteenth century.

Maybe the miniature has something to do with this legend. Was it in memory of this event that the mother commissioned a portrait of a red-haired baby with sparkling blue eyes in a nightgown with a lace collar that had slipped down to the left shoulder?

What attracts most of all in the portrait is a serious facial expression and an intelligent look of large eyes.

The background on the right is dark blue, on the left is blue and pink. Isn’t it dawn? Probably, both the artist and the customer were thinking about the dawn of a new century.

However, whoever the author of this childhood portrait of Pushkin was, he turned out to be perspicacious, so lovingly and carefully depicting his model.

History of the miniature portrait

For a long time nothing was known to the general public about the existence of a portrait of Pushkin as a child. The miniature depicting little Pushkin was presented by the mother of the poet to the daughter of the outstanding Russian therapist Matvey Yakovlevich Mudrov, who treated members of the Pushkin family.

On the cover of a separate edition of the first chapter of Eugene Onegin, the doctor’s daughter testified: “This book, along with a portrait of her son Alexander, was presented to me by a patient of my late father, Nadezhda Osipovna Pushkina.”

Descendants of M.Ya. Mudrova cherished this relic for 127 years, and already in our time the portrait was presented to the artist Vsevolod Semenovich Yakut, who played the role of Pushkin on stage, and he, in turn, gave it to the museum of A.S. Pushkin in Moscow.

There is no doubt that the future poet is looking at us from a miniature by an unknown artist, although the child has a soft, feminine oval face, plump cheeks and smooth, parted hair.

Now every schoolchild imagines what the great Pushkin was like in early childhood.

The second most recent portrait of Pushkin is a watercolor, most likely executed by the lyceum art teacher S.G. Chirikov. It can be assumed that this was shortly after the public recognition of Pushkin the Lyceum student as a poet at a public exam at the Lyceum on January 8, 1815.

Delicate pastel colors. Thoughtful posture and facial expression of a young man. His whole appearance is imbued with some special nobility, purity and clarity of thoughts.

The artist expressed a sense of reverent respect for the poetic gift of the young man.

On September 14 of the same year, Zhukovsky wrote to Vyazemsky: “Dear, living creation! He rejoiced at me and firmly pressed my hand to his heart. This is the hope of our literature. We all need to unite to help grow this future talent that will outgrow all of us.”

The fifteen-year-old “giant” himself, in the poem “My Portrait”, written in French, gave himself the following description:

My growth with the growth of the most lanky

Can’t equal

I have a fresh complexion

Brown hair

And a curly head.


A real demon in pranks,

A real monkey face

Much, too much windiness –

Yes, such is Pushkin.

But memoirists note that the poet’s face, which was ugly in itself, was transformed, became beautiful, inspired by thought and strong feeling.


S.G.CHIRIKOV(?) Pushkin in his youth. About 1815. B., watercolor, pastel.

So, the first two portraits of Pushkin – a child and a young man – were performed in the tradition of their genres and, in turn, pursued a memorial goal. Nevertheless, the subsequent images of Pushkin were projected to a greater or lesser extent on the creative nature of the poet’s personality.

So, it was the desire to introduce the reader to a new poet that was the reason for the appearance in 1822 of the first engraved portrait of Pushkin by E.I. Geytman during the publication of the poem “Prisoner of the Caucasus”. Since the author was at that time in exile in Chisinau and could not pose for the artist, the well-known watercolor of 1815 served as the original for Geitman’s engraving.

The twenty-three-year-old poet, whose name was already surrounded by a halo of glory, appeared before the readers in the fantastic form of a young man with features of a black girl and a Byronian pose. This image did not at all correspond to either the actual appearance of Pushkin of that time, or his ideal personality of a romantic poet.

Pushkin, having received a copy of the poem, found that he did not look like him, and asked resolutely not to print the portrait in new editions.

But this portrait went down in history and remained in the memory of many generations.

Until now, the cover of selected works by Pushkin for children is decorated with Geitman’s engraving.

E.I. GEYTMAN (1798-1862) A.S. Pushkin. 1822. Engraving with a chisel and dotted line on copper. 31×22.5 All-Union Museum of A.S. Pushkin.


On September 8, 1826, the poet Pushkin and the courier Valshch, sent for him by the highest command to Mikhailovskoye, arrived in Moscow.

Pushkin has not been in Moscow for 15 years, one month and three weeks since his uncle Vasily Lvovich took him to the Lyceum. His appearance in public after six years of imprisonment becomes an event no less important, and for some contemporaries even more significant than the royal coronation By this time, Pushkin’s name, according to his friend, the poet Vyazemsky, “became the property of the people.”

“I envy Moscow. She crowned the emperor, now she crowns the poet,” wrote the writer Izmailov, the former publisher of the Vestnik Evropy magazine, where Pushkin’s first printed poem “To a Poet Friend” appeared.

Pushkin never knew such glory as in these days and weeks of the Moscow autumn of 1826. He is put on a par with the greatest poets of mankind: Petrarch and Tasso, Shakespeare and Byron.

For his contemporaries, he is the author of freedom-loving poems that inflamed hearts, the singer of “The Prisoner of the Caucasus”, “The Fountain of Bakhchisaray”, “Gypsies” – in these poems a whole generation discovered its features, moods, feelings. The second chapter of “Eugene Onegin” is published. In the homes of Moscow acquaintances, Pushkin reads the tragedy “Boris Godunov”, which has not yet been published.

Pushkin’s name is repeated everywhere, all attention, all eyes are turned to him, everyone longs to get to know the poet, to be near him, to even have a glimpse of him.

– Point it out, point it out to us!

The face of the poet is unfamiliar to most of his passionate readers, even among the most educated: photography was not invented, for six years of exile, neither in Chisinau, nor in Odessa, and even more so in the village, Mikhailovsky, none of Pushkin’s artists painted.

I.E.DE VIVIEN A.S. Pushkin. 1826 Miniature on the bone.

Portraits of writers are images of our dearest interlocutors, helping us to know ourselves, the laws and secrets of human communication, friendship, love, indicating high ideals, revealing the deep meaning of such words as freedom, justice, Fatherland, peace.

All known to us natural portraits of A.S. Pushkin were executed during the last 10 years of his life – from 1826 to 1837.

The “new” Pushkin was first captured by a Russified foreigner, a draftsman of Polish origin, Iosif Vivien, who worked for many years in Moscow, where he was called in the Russian style Ivan Osipovich. He created two works: a gouache miniature on an ivory plate and two drawings with an Italian pencil on paper.

In his image, Pushkin is still very young, openly and benevolently looking directly at the viewer. Vivien managed to convey the intimate traits of Pushkin the man: softness of soul, cordiality, innocence, childish insecurity of nature.

Pushkin kept one of the two portraits, the other was carefully pasted into a frame and presented to the poet Yevgeny Abramovich Baratynsky.

People who knew the poet closely noted that even the best images could not convey all the charm of his personality.


At the beginning of 1827, the remarkable Moscow portrait painter Vasily Andreevich Tropinin painted a portrait of Pushkin,

The portrait was ordered by the poet himself and presented to a friend Sobolevsky, about which he wrote: “Alexander Sergeyevich ordered Tropinin’s portrait for me and gave it to me as a keepsake in a gilded magnificent frame.”

The customer wanted to preserve in the portrait the image of a man “homely, ordinary, as he always was, unkempt and unsmoothed”, in a dressing gown. But the artist reveals to people the great poet whom Moscow crowned as the Russian Byron and Shakespeare, whose name has become “the people’s property.” He feels the high aspiration of his thoughts, greatness of spirit, inflexibility and patience with which the poet meets the blows of fate. He knows a genius, talks with him face to face, which he will remember years later with happy pride…

Pushkin sits in a relaxed pose. The right hand with rings on the thumb and forefinger lies freely on the table on the open book.

In the turn of the head, majestic and proud, deep thoughtfulness. In a concentrated look – a tense thought. Dark brown curly hair frames a high forehead. Shoulders are widely deployed. There is confidence and strength in the pose. The folds of the robe, wide, free, smooth, emphasize the looseness of the poet, his inner freedom. A loose, unbuttoned collar, a casually tied scarf that does not tighten the neck speak of Pushkin’s everyday simplicity, “homeliness”, and of the inspiration that suddenly dawned on him. I remember the lines: “And fingers ask for a pen, a pen for paper, a minute – and the verses will flow freely …”

The colors are stingy, do not dazzle, do not scatter attention. The brightest thing is the loose white collar of the shirt; it immediately draws attention to the poet’s face. The clothes combine deep brown with deep blue – the colors of the earth and sky.

Before us is the image of a simple but great man, full of spiritual powers. “The resemblance of the portrait to the original is striking,” rejoiced the writer and critic Nikolai Alekseevich Polevoy, publisher of the Moscow Telegraph magazine, notifying readers of the appearance of a portrait of Pushkin painted by Tropinin.

V.A.TROPININ (1776-1857). A.S. Pushkin. 1827 All-Union Museum of A.S. Pushkin.

History of the portrait

Paintings, like books, have their own destiny… A little more than a year has passed since Tropinin’s portrait of Pushkin was painted. Sobolevsky wrote: “The portrait of Tropinin was ordered by Pushkin himself secretly and brought it to me in the form of a surprise with various farces.”

Many of the poet’s friends did not have time to admire them. And most of them will never admire again. Neither will most of Pushkin’s first readers see him. Tropinin’s portrait, left by its owner Sobolevsky when leaving abroad with one of his friends, mysteriously disappeared. In its place and in the same frame, Sobolevsky, returning from foreign lands, found a bad copy – and in his hearts threw it out the window.

The portrait was accidentally found only a quarter of a century later in an antique dealer’s shop. A photocopy from it was published thirty-three years after its creation – in 1860. And he appeared at the exhibition eight years later – in 1868.

Such, in brief, is the history of the portrait of Pushkin created by Tropinin, a talented portrait painter.




And I forget the lyre – and in sweet silence

I am sweetly lulled by my imagination

And poetry awakens in me:

The soul is embarrassed by lyrical excitement.

It trembles and sounds, and seeks, as in a dream,

Finally pour out free manifestation –

And then an invisible swarm of guests comes to me,

Old acquaintances, fruits of my dreams.


And the thoughts in my head are worried in courage,

And light rhymes run towards them,

And fingers ask for a pen, pen for paper,

A minute – and the verses will flow freely.

So the ship slumbers motionless in motionless moisture,

But chu! – the sailors suddenly rush, crawl.

Up, down – and the sails puffed out, the winds are full;

The mass has moved and cuts through the waves.


Floats. Where are we to sail?

OA Kiprensky (1782-1836) Portrait of the poet A.S. Pushkin. 1827 State Tretyakov Gallery.

… I see myself, as in a mirror,

But this mirror flatters me…

(From a poem to Kiprensky.)

The genius of poetry

Delvig orders Kiprensky a portrait of Pushkin, a portrait of a friend for himself and for all those who love Pushkin, remembering that all of Russia loves the poet, believes him. This is a portrait of a poet and a citizen, on whom the eyes of Russia are fixed.

Pushkin is here an ideal, a symbol of the poet, sublime and abstract. Everyday life, details, furnishings are discarded, as if there is nothing in nature but silence and harmony. The pose is graceful, proud, independent.

Kiprensky sought, above all, to convey the greatness of the poet. This is a portrait of a man illumined by high creative inspiration. In the eyes is the ability to grasp impressions vividly and eagerly, and at the same time intense, deep work of the mind.

The face is calm, but not impassive. In the face, in the turn of the head, in the immobility of the shoulders, in the arms crossed on the chest, hidden excitement, anxiety, this “abyss of thoughts and sensations” are conveyed. The sparkle of clear eyes, naughty hair, as if touched by a passing breeze, a ray of light that illuminated a large beautiful forehead, a checkered cloak carelessly thrown over his shoulder, betray Pushkin’s inner agitation, make his image mobile.

There is reliable evidence that at first there was no bronze figure of the Muse, the patron goddess of poetry with a lyre in her hand, standing on the right behind the poet’s shoulders, on the canvas. After finishing the work, Pushkin’s friends ask to complete the portrait with the image of the Genius of Poetry: they mean the statue of the Muse. “But I have already portrayed the Genius of Poetry,” the artist will say. And yet he yields to requests. The figure of the poet becomes more majestic, sculptural.

A.S. Pushkin highly appreciated the work of Kiprensky, dedicating a poem to him.

It is Kiprensky who has the happy fate of making Pushkin’s “look” famous in his native Fatherland.

From the engraving by N. Utkin. A.S. Pushkin

Utkin engraving

The fame of Kiprensky is rightfully shared with him by the famous engraver of that time, Nikolai Ivanovich Utkin. As soon as the portrait is finished, at the request of Delvig, he engraves it, working with a chisel on a copper board, making a mold from which impressions are made.

The image of the poet here is somewhat reduced compared to the original. He lost his romantic features, but acquired greater simplicity, humanity, vitality. This is probably why the poet’s father and lyceum friends considered Utkin’s engraving to be the most similar portrait of Pushkin.

The crossed arms of the poet were not included in the engraving; the bronze figure of the Muse was removed. This forces the viewer to take a closer look at the face. But the engraver conveys the face in his own way. It is somewhat lengthened. The view of the poet has changed, the hair is shown differently. The face in the engraving is somewhat younger than in the portrait, the excitement is more vividly reflected in his features.

Delvig places Utkin’s engraving in the almanac “Northern Flowers” for 1828, here is an excerpt from “Boris Godunov”, the poem “Count Nulin” and several poems by Pushkin. In addition, Delvig puts on sale individual prints.

Thousands of people are now getting acquainted with the image of Pushkin, acquiring it.

Utkinsky Pushkin lost something in comparison with Pushkin of Kiprensky, but he also discovered something new, his own. Pushkin in the engraving is perhaps a little closer to the viewer: not only a great poet, but also a good friend. People who knew Pushkin closely, many who met him, believe that the engraving accurately conveys his appearance.

The portrait appears at an exhibition in St. Petersburg, attracting everyone’s attention.

In 1831, after the death of Delvig, Pushkin bought a portrait from his widow and kept it with him all his life.


Not many paintings by old masters

I always wanted to decorate my abode,

So that the visitor marveled at them superstitiously,

Listening to the important judgment of connoisseurs.

In my simple corner, in the midst of slow labors,

One picture I wanted to be forever a spectator,

One: so that on me from the canvas, as from the clouds,

Pure and our divine savior –

She is with greatness, he is with reason in his eyes –

Looked, meek, in glory and in the rays,

Alone, without angels, under the palm tree of Zion.

My wishes have been fulfilled. Creator

He sent you down to me, you, my Madonna,

The purest beauty, the purest example.

Portraits of the last years of the poet’s life.

P.F.SOKOLOV (1787(?)-1848). A.S. Pushkin. 1836 Watercolor on paper. All-Union Museum of A.S. Pushkin.

In 1836-37, the works of P.F.Sokolov (watercolor), T.Wright (engraving), I.L. Lineva (painting). They are united, despite the difference in genre and technique, by a common perception of the model. In Pushkin 1836-37. we do not see that inner upsurge, burning that Vivien, Tropinin, Kiprensky captured. On the contrary, dissatisfaction, anxiety, fatigue are now felt in the portrait. Apparently, this appearance corresponded to the well-being of the advanced noble intelligentsia after the December period, forced to withdraw into itself.

We feel the same mood in the last three portraits of Pushkin in 1835-1836. The portrait of Linev is especially striking!

In the mid-1980s, half a century after the death of Pushkin, a portrait of the poet was found in the house of a St. Petersburg artist, the existence of which no one had ever imagined before. But the portrait is not only unexpected because nothing had been heard about him until then: the very face in the portrait is unexpected – not a single artist who painted him during his lifetime depicted such a Pushkin. This is the tragic Pushkin, the Pushkin of recent years. Hair thinned, not curly, as before. Yellowed, haggard face; anxiety, melancholy, acute pain, which there is no strength to hide, glow in brightly shining eyes, as if illuminated by suffering.

The portrait was not painted very skillfully, it is immediately clear that the painter is not experienced in his skill. But with what feeling he paints a portrait, how deeply he understands Pushkin’s mental anguish!

After research, it was established: IvanLoginovich Linev – in the past a brave military officer, an amateur painter, was familiar with Zhukovsky.

This is the most mysterious portrait of Pushkin. And its main secret is not the author, about whom we know so little, not the date of creation, which we do not know, but the amazing insight with which it was written.

The portrait conveys what Russia will soon read from Lermontov:

But secret needles are harsh

A glorious person was stinged …

This portrait hides many mysteries…

I.L.LINEV. Portrait of A.S. Pushkin. 1836(?)

But the main thing: there is a portrait of Pushkin, created in recent years, even in the last year of his life. The portrait is amazing! With deep feeling, he tells the poet’s tragedies, about “his main misfortune”, about “anxiety, languor, annoyance and impotence.”

Pushkin’s self-portraits

Since 1818, self-portraits have accompanied the poet’s work until the youth of his life. They become a form of self-expression. This is the search for a new mask of the “poet”, a new role in life, and fixing it in a visible guise on paper; it is both a confession and a look at oneself from the outside; it is reflection on oneself in the past, present and future.

Pushkin’s self-portraits have no analogies in the history of art, just as his poems and prose have no analogies in the history of literature. In them, Pushkin was far ahead of his time in style and method of drawing, genre looseness, complete non-compliance with the restrictions within each genre. His self-portraits not only reflect reality, but carry a great generalization and critical perception of reality. They are highly poetic, tragic and ironic at the same time.

Drawn for himself, unknown to his contemporaries, Pushkin’s self-portraits were only appreciated a century later. The poet’s drawings are so capacious and at the same time accurate, according to their characteristics, and so bold and artistic in the manner of execution, that time has no power over them, they do not age, although they exactly correspond with the signs of Pushkin’s time.

Even now they seem to us just put on paper by a contemporary artist.

In total, Pushkin created about sixty self-portraits.

A. Pushkin

The texts were compiled by Andrievskaya Zinaida Nikolaevna,

methodologist of the Yakshur-Bodinsky RONO.

School experience 49 years

43 of them are in the Yakshur-Bodyinsky secondary school No. 1.



From the author..…………………………… 2

Portrait…….…………………………. 3

Pushkin in early childhood…………. 5

History of the miniature portrait ..…..5

About the portrait of Pushkin S.G. Chirikov ..6

About E.I. Geitman’s engraving …………….8

People’s property …………..10

Portrait of Vivienne …………………….11

For the memory of those who love…………………12

The history of the portrait …………………..14

AUTUMN ………………………………. fifteen

The genius of poetry ………………………. .17

Engraving Utkin……………………….19

MADONNE ………………………………20

Portraits of recent years ………… 21

Self-portraits ………………… 23-24

“Pushkin” V. Sidorov ………………..26

The brochure was republished on 20.12.2012.

Editing and layout done

Vera Valentinovna Popova, 1974 graduate

Yakshur-Bodyinsky secondary school No. 1

I.E. De Vivienne

Pencil portrait


Without Pushkin deaf and dumb

Russian blue sky.

I’m happy that in a chilly fog

Life and other worries

I will never be deceived

Harmony of Pushkin’s lines.

Through the mist and shimmering hoarfrost

I see the star line.

I’m like a password, his name

In darkness and adversity I repeat.

Valentin Sidorov.

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