Pushkin, Aleksandr

Pushkin, Aleksandr
Vasily Tropinin, Portrait of Alexander Pushkin. 1827. Oil on canvas
Born in Moscow, Pushkin published his first poem at the age of fifteen, and by the time of his graduation from the Imperial Lyceum in Tsarskoye Selo outside of St. Petersburg he was widely recognized by the literary establishment. Pushkin gradually became committed to social reform and emerged as a spokesman for literary radicals; in the early 1820s he clashed with the government, which sent him into exile in southern Russia. While under the strict surveillance of government censors and unable to travel or publish at will, he wrote his most famous play, the drama Boris Godunov, but could not publish it until years later. His novel in verse, Eugene Onegin, was published serially from 1825 to 1832.