(1803 – 1873)
Feodor Tyutchev was born on November 23, 1803 in his parents' estate Ovstug in the Orel province. He received perfect home education from his tutor, a poet and translator S. Raich.
In November of 1819 Tyutchev entered the philology department of the University of Moscow, from which he graduated two years later as a Kandidat of philology. Since 1822 until 1837 Tyutchev worked as a diplomat in Munich and Turin.
Tyutchev's personality and literary style took their shape in Europe. He has translated a lot of works by Goethe, Heine, Schiller, Lamartine etc. He was a friend of Heine. A famous philosopher Schelling, who was acquainted with Tyutchev, greatly respected the poet. Perhaps t was Tyutchev who made Schelling interested in Russia.
In Germany Tyutchev married Eleanor Peterson, countess of Botmer. They had three daughters - Anne, Daria and Catherine. After Eleanor's death Tyutchev married Ernestine Dornsberg, the baroness of Pfeffel. Their elder children Maria and Dmitry were born in Germany and the younger one, Ivan, - already in Russia.
In autumn of 1844 Tyutchev returned to St. Petersburg. Since 1858 and until death he was the chairman of the Committee of Foreign Censorship. He did a lot for promotion of European culture in Russia.
Feodor Tyutchev died on July 15, 1873 in Tsarskoye Selo and was buried in the cemetery of the Novodevichy monastery.
His first poems Tyutchev wrote in the childhood. His first publication took place in 1819. It was an imitation of Horace. 'The Poems Sent From Germany" were published in1836 in "Sovremennik" ("The Contemporary"), a magazine edited by Pushkin. Although Tyutchev published a number of poems in the 1820-40s, he became well-known only after his first separate book appeared in 1854. The publication was prepared by I.S. Turgenev. Turgenev and Nekrasov also wrote first large articles about Tyutchev. Tyutchev's second collection of poems was issued in 1868 by I. Aksakov and I. Tyutchev, the poet's son. After Tyutchev's death his widow' his children and grandchildren collected and published his complete works.
Tyutchev's literary heritage is quite small: a little more than 400 poems. However Tyutchev was a remarkable philosophical poet. In his poetry thought is always vested in a unique image which is a creation of "a deep feeling or a strong impression" (Turgenev). Being the predecessor of the symbolists of the early 20th century, Tyutchev puts every particular occurrence into the atmosphere of initial reality and through this creates a pure image. Concealed life of the spirit and secret beatings of the heart are expressed in his poetry. Tyutchev's poems release the existential depth of the human mind.
Tyutchev was perfect in poetry. He could make traditional meters sound rhythmically extravagant. A.A. Fet considered Tyutchev to be the greatest poet on Earth. Dostoevsky called Tyutchev the first philosophical poet. Tolstoy said that in Russia there were three poets equally great: Pushkin, Lermontov and Tyutchev.