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Russian Language Day
“He in his madness prays for storms,
and dreams that storms will bring him peace.”
~ Mikhail Lermontov (1814-1841)
Russian Romantic writer, poet and painter, Mikhail Yuryevich Lermontov, sometimes known as "the poet of the Caucasus," is remembered for more than 30 large poems, 600 minor ones, a novel and 5 dramas – created in the span of just six years - and is also credited for pioneering the tradition of the Russian psychological novel. Mikhail Yuryevich Lermontov was born in Moscow into the respectable noble family of Lermontov, and he grew up in the village of Tarkhany (now Lermontovo in Penza Oblast). His paternal family descended from the Scottish family of Learmonth, and can be traced to Yuri (George) Learmonth, a Scottish officer in the Polish-Lithuanian service who settled in Russia in the middle of the 17th century. Family legend asserted that George Learmonth descended from the famed 13th-century Scottish poet Thomas the Rhymer (also known as Thomas Learmonth). Brilliant, impulsive, passionate and purposely provocative, Lermontov lived a life of a Byronic hero, and his works brought him both fame and censure. He died as a result of a cliff-edge duel with a former friend and fellow soldier. In 2014, a monument to Lermontov was unveiled in Scottish village of Earlston, the place being selected due to a suggested association of Lermontov's descent with Thomas the Rhymer.
Considered the most important Russian poet after Alexander Pushkin's death in 1837, and the greatest figure in Russian Romanticism, the influence of Mikhail Lermontov on later Russian literature is still felt in modern times, not only through his poetry, but also through his prose, which founded the tradition of the Russian psychological novel.
The Lermontov tartan honors Mikhail Lermontov, the Russian Romantic writer, poet, and painter, who died July 27, 1841, killed in a duel.
Lermontov was born in Moscow on 15th October 1814 to a retired army captain and his wife. His paternal family descended from the Scottish family of Learmonth, one of whom settled in Russia in the early 17th century, during the reign (1613–1645) of Mikhail Fyodorovich Romanov. The 13th-century Scottish poet Thomas the Rhymer (Thomas Learmonth) is thus claimed as a relative of Lermontov.
At the age of three Lermotov's mother died and he was sent to live with his grandmother on her estate in Penzenskaya province. Here, the natural beauty of the area formed a lasting impression on him, as did the customs and ceremonies of the time and the stories, legends and folk songs that he heard. In 1827 he moved with his grandmother to Moscow and attended boarding school. Lermontov, like many other young writers at the time, was influenced heavily by English poet Lord Byron, as was shown by his first two poems Cherkesy and Kavkazsky Plennik (1928). His first published verse, Vesna, then followed in 1830.
This tartan was designed by Brian Wilton of the Scottish Tartans Authority for the Russian descendants of George Lermont (a 'Scotch Knight') of Fife who emigrated to Russia in 1613 to serve as a military instructor to Tsar Mikhail Romanov.
From the official register:
"His standing in Russia is almost akin to that of Robert Burns. This tartan is based upon the MacDuff, the designer drawing upon George Lermont's home county of Fife and its literary connection in Shakespeare's MacBeth in which MacDuff was given the fictional title of Thane of Fife. The white lines on blue symbolise St Andrew - patron saint of both Russia and Scotland - and of course the Scottish flag to celebrate the Lermontovs' Scottish ancestry. The remaining colours are from the Lermontov coat of arms registered in Russia in 1798. The three black lines represent the three lozenges in that device."
For a collection of his poetry, click his portrait.