Literature, #200


  200.  Alexandra Vereshchagina (1810-1873).  Autograph album. Mixed media, ca. 1830. -- RBML, Bakhmeteff Archive, Lermontov Collection (See fuller description below.)
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A set of three Russian salon albums filled with autograph poems and original drawings, some of which can be attributed to the famous poet Mikhail Iurievich Lermontov, author of a well-known novel, A Hero of Our Time. According to the Russian tradition those albums were passed on from one generation to another. Two of these albums belonged to the Vereshchagin family, Lermontov's closest friends during his Moscow years. The third album belonged to Varvara Lopukhina, a portrait of whom is included in this volume. Apparently, Lermontov met Varvara Lopukhina around 1827 and fell in love with her. Unfortunately, she didn't share his feelings. Hurt by her "betrayal" (she married Mr. Bakhmeteff in 1835), he later portrayed her in Princess Ligovskaia and other novels as a weak and deceitful lady.