Xavier de Maistre


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Maistre, Xavier de

 

Born Nov. 8, 1763, in Chambéry, Savoie; died June 12, 1852, in St. Petersburg. Count; French writer, scientist, artist, and military figure. Brother of J. de Maistre.

De Maistre emigrated to Russia in 1800. There he became an officer in the Russian Army, taking part in wars in the Caucasus and Persia. He later became director and librarian of the Admiralty Museum in St. Petersburg. He was a member of the academies of science of Turin (his works on physics and chemistry appeared in the academy’s annals) and of Savoie.

De Maistre’s first work, A Journey Around My Room (1794; Russian translation, 1802), was distinguished for its direct and lively narrative style. His novellas on Russian themes attracted the attention of C.-A. Sainte-Beuve in France and A. F. Vel’tman and V. I. Dal’ in Russia. His novella The Young Siberian Girl (1815) has become a children’s classic (Russian translation, 1840). De Maistre also translated fables by I. A. Krylov into French. He was well known as a painter of miniatures (including a portrait of N. O. Pushkina, mother of the poet) and landscapes.

WORKS

Oeuvres completes. New edition with a preface by M. Sainte-Beuve. Paris, 1894.

REFERENCES

“Iz materialov Stroganovskoi Akademii: Neopubl. proizv. K. de Mestra i Z. Volkonskoi.” In Literaturnoe nasledstvo, vols. 33–34. Moscow, 1939.
Sainte-Beuve, C.-A. Portraits contemporains, vol. 3. Paris, 1870.
Berthier, A. X. de Maistre. Lyon, 1921.

M. A. GOL’DMAN

References in periodicals archive ?
Internationally renowned French harpist Xavier De Maistre will return to Beirut, plucking classics adapted for the harp such as Khatchaturian's "Danse Orientale" and "Toccata," and Walter-KE-hne's "Fantasy on the Themes of [Tchaikovsky's] 'Eugene Onegin.
Rhian Davies, artistic director, said: "I'm especially delighted to feature Wales debuts for the distinguished French artists Christophe Rousset and Les Talens Lyriques, Ensemble Amarillis, Les Folies francoises, pianist Anne Queffelec, harpist Xavier de Maistre, mezzo-soprano Stephanie d'Oustrac with pianist Pascal Jourdan and Ensemble Variances.
6 (Pathetique) and also welcomes harpist Xavier de Maistre to play Gliere's Harp Concerto.
Soloists with whom he is working include Emmanuel Ax, Boris Berezovsky, Gautier Capucon, Leon Fleischer, Hakan Hardenberger, Nobuko Imai, Daishin Kashimoto, Daniel Muller-Schott, Xavier de Maistre, Steven Osborne, Vadim Repin, Fazil Say, Baiba Skride, Jean-Yves Thibaudet and Daniil Trifonov.
But step forward French virtuoso Xavier de Maistre, on a first visit to Liverpool, and the perspective changes.
Comme il l'indique dans son avant-propos, le titre de ce livre aurait du etre Voyage autour de ma chambre : << malheureusement, voici plus de deux siecles, le grand Xavier de Maistre l'a trouve avant moi >>.
Alain De Botton notes that in 1790, Xavier de Maistre took a trip around his bedroom, an account of which he would later title Journey Around My Bedroom.