Russian Artist and Writer
1860 – 1884 A.D.
Marie Bashkirtseff, a Russian artist and writer, one of the most individual characters in the literary annals of the nineteenth century, born near Poltava, Russia, and died of consumption in Paris.
Her parents were wealthy and of noble descent, and their daughter, who was gifted with beauty, an unusual voice, and a mind of remarkable maturity, had the advantage of residence in Rome, Nice, Paris and other cities where she moved in the highest society.
A weakness of throat obliged her to abandon the hope of achieving fame as a singer, and in her seventeenth year she began the study of art in Paris under Robert-Fleury, pursuing it later under Bastien-Lepage until her death, and producing, in spite of her physical disabilities, several paintings of of rare merit.
Her distinctive work, however, was a journal begun in her thirteenth year and faithfully continued through life. It was destined for publication after her death, and intended to be, to use her own words, “the transcript of a woman’s life – her thoughts and hopes, her deceptions, weakness, good qualities, sorrows and joys.” She herself believed it to be unparalleled in literature, and the same opinion was expressed by Gladstone, one of her many sympathetic reviewers.
Consult: The Journal of Marie Bashkirtseff, translated with an Introduction, by Mathilde Blind (two volumes, London, 1890).
Reference: Famous Women; An Outline of Feminine Achievement Through the Ages With Life Stories of Five Hundred Noted Women By Joseph Adelman. Copyright, 1926 by Ellis M. Lonow Company.