Pushkin: his gallery of portraits
ALEKSANDER SERGEYEVICH PUSHKIN, poet, dramatist, novelist and author of tales, was the first of the giants of literature of modern Russia. He was strongly influenced by the Romantic movement, especially by Lord Byron, and had a profound knowledge of European literature, translating many works from English into Russian. Though he was no professional painter, drawing and sketching occupied an important place in his life. His manuscripts and notebooks are covered with innumerable drawings of the characters he was describing in his works, his friends, the women he loved, members of his family, as well as Russian and foreign literary figures. One of his biographers has called, Pushkin's drawings "his graphic diary".
The self-portrait of Pushkin shows him "On the Road to Erzerum" to participate in the Russo-Turkish war in 1829. It was drawn by the poet on a draft page of his tale "Voyage to Erzerum". Despite the Czar's opposition, he had gone off to the Caucasus. He found himself in trouble on his return to St. Petersburg.