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Russian Minister of Education
Shuvalov, Ivan Ivanovich
Born Nov. 1 (12), 1727, in Moscow; died Nov. 14 (25), 1797, in St. Petersburg. Russian state figure. Adjutant general (1760).
Shuvalov obtained a position at the court in 1742, and in 1749 he became a kamer-iunker (lowest title at the tsarist court) and a favorite of Empress Elizaveta Petrovna’s. Shuvalov, who influenced the foreign and domestic policy of Russia in the mid-18th century, promoted the development of Russian science and art and acted as a patron for Russian scholars, writers, and artists. He supported many of M. V. Lomonosov’s ideas, including the plan to establish Moscow University; after the university opened its doors, he became its first curator. In 1757 the Academy of Arts was established at the initiative of Shuvalov, who served as its president until 1763.
After Catherine II Alekseevna was crowned, Shuvalov fell from favor. From 1763 to 1777, while on leave abroad “for reasons of health,” he carried out various diplomatic and other missions for the Russian government. He sent collections of art he gathered in Western Europe to the Academy of Arts and the Hermitage. After his return to Russia, Shuvalov did not play a major role in politics.