Biographies Russian Writers Princess Zinaida Volkonskaya

Princess Zinaida Volkonskaya

Born: 1792, Turin
Died: 1862, Rome

Writer, poetess, opera singer, composer, patroness, collector. Born in Turin in the family of Russian ambassador Prince Alexander Beloselsky-Belozersky (1752–1809) and Varvara Tatischeva (1764–1792). Grew up in the Beloselsky-Belozersky Palace at 41 Nevsky Prospekt in St Petersburg (1793–1810). Married Prince Nikita Volkonsky (1781–1844), aide-de-camp to Tsar Alexander I and brother of the Decembrist Prince Sergei Volkonsky (1810). Close friend of Tsar Alexander I, Alexander Pushkin, Adam Mickiewicz, Alexander Brullov and Fidelio Bruni, who depicted her as Tancred in a painting and Joan of Arc in a lithograph. Lived abroad (1812–17) and returned to St Petersburg (1817–20). Visited Italy (1822). Opened a salon in Moscow (1824–29). Settled in Rome (1829). Died of pneumonia in Rome after giving her cloak to an old street woman and buried in the church of Santi Vincenzo e Anastasio a Trevi (1862).

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