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Russia 1999. A.S. Pushkin. Birth bicentenary. Painting by K.P. Bryllow.

A.S. Pushkin
1799-1837

  • Russia 1999.  Birth bicentenary of A.S. Pushkin.  

    • Left:  Painting by K.P. Bryllov c. 1836. 
    • Right:  Painting by S.G. Tchirikov c. 1815. 

Russia 1999. A.S. Pushkin. Birth Bicentenary. Painting by S.G. Tchirikov.

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Aleksandr Sergeyevich Pushkin was a Russian poet and author, who founded the literature of his language with epic and lyric poems, plays, novels, and short stories.  Pushkin was also skilled in making drawings and illustrations to his own works.  

Russia 1998. Pushkin. Drawings made by Pushkin. Lichei. Russia 1998. Pushkin. Drawings made by Pushkin. A.N. Wolf. Russia 1998. Pushkin. Drawings made by Pushkin. Self-portrait. Russia 1998. Pushkin. Drawings made by Pushkin. Tatiana. Russia 1998. Pushkin. Drawings made by Pushkin. Dramatic scenery.

Pushkin was born June 6, 1799, in Moscow, into a noble family.  He took particular pride in his great-grandfather Hannibal, a black general who served Peter the Great.  Educated at the Imperial Lyceum at Tsarskoye Selo (later renamed Pushkin), Pushkin demonstrated an early poetic gift.  In 1817 Pushkin was taken into the ministry of foreign affairs in St Petersburg; there he mingled in the social life of the capital and belonged to an underground revolutionary group. In 1820 his Ode to Liberty came to the attention of the authorities, and the young poet was exiled to the Caucasus; nonetheless, Pushkin continued to hold official posts.  

Russia 1997. Joint issue with Israel. A.S. Pushkin.

He began his most famous work, Eugene Onegin, in 1823; a Byronic love story with a realistic contemporary setting that has been described as the first of the great Russian novels (although in verse), it was not completed until 1831.

This work was later translated into Hebrew by the Israeli writer Abraham Schlonski (1900-1973), and for the occasion of the international Pushkin-year in 1999, the joint issue between Russia and Israel was issued.  The stamp shows one of Pushkin's own illustrations to this work. 

  • Russia 1997.  Joint issue Russia-Israel.  Michel # 623. Block 19.

Transferred to Odessa in 1823, he incurred the stern disapproval of a superior by carrying on an affair with his wife. He was dismissed from government service in 1824 and banished to his mother's estate near Pskov.  

Russia 1996. Boris Godunov.

Although unhappy about this isolation, this was to prove an extremely productive time for Pushkin.  There he wrote (1824-1825) "Boris Godunov", a Russian historical tragedy in the Shakespearean tradition, published six years later, and based on the life of the early Russian Czar Boris Godunov.  In 1826 Tsar Nicholas I, recognizing his enormous popularity, pardoned him.  
  • Russia 1996.  Boris Godunov (1551-1605, Russian Czar from 1598).  Michel # 553.

Pushkin continued to draw upon Russian history in two long poems, "Poltava" (1828) and "The Bronze Horseman" (1833), and in his novel of the Pugachev rebellion, "The Captain's Daughter" (1836).  He also wrote short stories, the best known of which is "The Queen of Spades".  

Russia 1997. Pushkin. Fairy Tales. The Pope and his Lackey Balda.

The Pope and
his Lackey Balda

Russia 1997. Pushkin. Fairy Tales. The Tales of Czar Saltan.

The Tales of 
Czar Saltan

Russia 1997. Pushkin. Fairy Tales. The Fisherman and his Wife.

The Fisherman 
and his Wife

Russia 1997. Pushkin. Fairy Tales. The Dead Princesses.

The Dead
Princesses

Russia 1997. Pushkin. Fairy Tales. The Golden Rooster.

The Golden 
Rooster

"The Golden Rooster" and "The Tales of Czar Saltan"have also appeared on stamps in the Soviet series of Artworks from Palekh, Mstira, and Fedoskino. 
  • USSR 1977.  "The Golden Rooster"
  • USSR 1977.  "Tales of Czar Saltan".

Russia 1977. Pushkin. The Golden Rooster.

Russia 1977. Pushkin. Tales of Czar Saltan.

That same year Pushkin published his Ruslan and Lyudmila, a long romantic poem based on Russian folklore, which earned him a reputation as one of Russia's most promising poetic talents.  The influence of Lord Byron shows itself, along with Pushkin's own love of liberty, in his next major poems, The Prisoner of the Caucasus (1822), The Fountain of Bakhchisaray (1822), and The Gypsies (1823-1824).  

Pushkin provided a literary heritage for Russians, whose native language had until then been considered unfit for literature. He was also a versatile writer of great vigour and optimism who understood the many facets of the Russian character. His lyric poetry and his simple, vivid prose were invaluable models for the writers who followed him.

  • The Arms of the noble family Pushkin on an ancient Russian postcard. 

Russia 1995. Pushkin. Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts. Moscow.      Russia 1987. Portrait of Pushkin.

  • USSR 1995.  Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts, Moscow.
  • USSR 1987.  Portrait of Pushkin. 

Pushkin. The arms of the noble family Pushkin on an ancient Russian postcard.

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