Zygmunt Krasiński

Last updated
Zygmunt Krasiński
Zygmunt Krasinski portrait.jpg
Autograph-ZygmuntKrasinski.png ________________________________________
Portrait by Ary Scheffer
Full name
Napoleon Stanisław Adam Feliks Zygmunt Krasiński
Born(1812-02-19)19 February 1812
Paris, France
Died23 February 1859(1859-02-23) (aged 47)
Paris, France
Noble family Krasiński
Spouse(s) Eliza Branicka
with Eliza Branicka:
Władysław Krasiński
Zygmunt Jerzy Krasinski
Maria Beatrix Krasińska
Marya Krasińska
Eliza Krasinska
Father Wincenty Krasiński
MotherMaria Urszula Radziwiłł

Count Zygmunt Krasiński (Polish pronunciation:  [ˈzɨɡmunt kraˈɕiɲskʲi] ; 19 February 1812 – 23 February 1859), a Polish nobleman traditionally ranked with Adam Mickiewicz and Juliusz Słowacki as one of Poland's Three National Bards — the trio of great Romantic poets who influenced national consciousness during the period of Poland's political bondage. He was the most famous member of the aristocratic Krasiński family.

Poland Republic in Central Europe

Poland, officially the Republic of Poland, is a country located in Central Europe. It is divided into 16 administrative subdivisions, covering an area of 312,696 square kilometres (120,733 sq mi), and has a largely temperate seasonal climate. With a population of approximately 38.5 million people, Poland is the sixth most populous member state of the European Union. Poland's capital and largest metropolis is Warsaw. Other major cities include Kraków, Łódź, Wrocław, Poznań, Gdańsk, and Szczecin.

Adam Mickiewicz Polish national poet, dramatist, essayist, publicist, translator, professor of Slavic literature, and political activist

Adam Bernard Mickiewicz was a Polish poet, dramatist, essayist, publicist, translator, professor of Slavic literature, and political activist. He is regarded as national poet in Poland, Lithuania and Belarus. A principal figure in Polish Romanticism, he is counted as one of Poland's "Three Bards" and is widely regarded as Poland's greatest poet. He is also considered one of the greatest Slavic and European poets and has been dubbed a "Slavic bard". A leading Romantic dramatist, he has been compared in Poland and Europe to Byron and Goethe.

Juliusz Słowacki Polish poet

Juliusz Słowacki ; French: Jules Slowacki was a Polish Romantic poet. He is considered one of the "Three Bards" of Polish literature — a major figure in the Polish Romantic period, and the father of modern Polish drama. His works often feature elements of Slavic pagan traditions, Polish history, mysticism and orientalism. His style includes the employment of neologisms and irony. His primary genre was the drama, but he also wrote lyric poetry. His most popular works include the dramas Kordian and Balladyna and the poems Beniowski and Testament mój.


Youth and early studies

Napoleon Stanisław Adam Feliks Zygmunt Krasiński was born in Paris on February 19, 1812 to Count Wincenty Krasiński, a Polish aristocrat and military commander, and Countess Maria Urszula Radziwiłł. Spending his childhood in the town of Chantilly, where Napoleon Bonaparte's Guard Regiment stationed, in 1814 he returned with his parents to Warsaw, which then was part of the Duchy of Warsaw ruled by Frederick Augustus I of Saxony and was a client state of the First French Empire. Following their arrival, Krasiński's father, who was highly caring and well taught, employed many renowned tutors and teachers, including Baroness Helena de la Haye, Józef Korzeniowski and Piotr Chlebowski, to take care of Zygmunt's education. On April 12, 1822 Krasiński's mother suddenly died due to tuberculosis and henceforth he was granted the supreme authority and control of the family besides his father, who watched carefully over his education and instilled in him the belief of chivalry and honor. Zygmunt's fascination with the personality of his father; the hopes and ambitions of free Poland, all led to excessive, burdensome and mutual idealization. They both shared a strong passion of a free nation, an independent country and therefore were strongly anti-Russian and in despise of the Tsar of the Russian Empire. This strong feeling and emotion towards the eastern neighbour soon turned into hatred, which possibly impacted in Wincenty's contribution to the Napoleonic Wars and taking part in Napoleon's unsuccessful invasion of Russia. After the war, the family spent most summer vacations and holidays in the privately owned estates in the region of Podolia or in Opinogóra. [1]

Paris Capital of France

Paris is the capital and most populous city of France, with an area of 105 square kilometres and an official estimated population of 2,140,526 residents as of 1 January 2019. Since the 17th century, Paris has been one of Europe's major centres of finance, diplomacy, commerce, fashion, science, and the arts.

Wincenty Krasiński nobleman, political activist and military leader

Count Wincenty Krasiński was a Polish nobleman (szlachcic), political activist and military leader.

Radziwiłł family eastern European noble family

The Radziwiłł family was a powerful magnate family originating from the Grand Duchy of Lithuania and later the Crown of the Kingdom of Poland.

In September 1826 he entered a local Warsaw Lyceum and received his high school diploma in the Autumn of 1827. Krasiński began his professional studies at the Faculty of Law and administration at the Imperial University of Warsaw, however, the incident on March 14, 1829, during which Leon Łubieński accused Krasiński of lacking solidarity with other students and refraining from participating in the patriotic manifestation, and subsequently refusing to attend any of the classes during the funeral of the President of the Sejm and Senator Piotr Beliński, interfered with his education at the complex. As a result of this event, in late March 1829, Krasiński was expelled from the university. From late May to mid-June he took first foreign trip to Vienna, under the care of his father, who previously travelled to Austria. In October 1829 he left the country to study abroad. Through Prague, Plzen, Regensburg, Zurich and Bern, Krasiński arrived in Geneva on November 3, [2] where he met with Adam Mickiewicz, a principal figure in Polish Romanticism and widely regarded as Poland's greatest poet.

Warsaw Lyceum

The Warsaw Lyceum was a secondary school that existed in Warsaw, under the Kingdom of Prussia and under the Kingdom of Poland, from 1804 to its closing in 1831 by Imperial Russia following the Polish November 1830 Uprising.

Law System of rules and guidelines, generally backed by governmental authority

Law is a system of rules that are created and enforced through social or governmental institutions to regulate behavior. It has been defined both as "the Science of Justice" and "the Art of Justice". Law is a system that regulates and ensures that individuals or a community adhere to the will of the state. State-enforced laws can be made by a collective legislature or by a single legislator, resulting in statutes, by the executive through decrees and regulations, or established by judges through precedent, normally in common law jurisdictions. Private individuals can create legally binding contracts, including arbitration agreements that may elect to accept alternative arbitration to the normal court process. The formation of laws themselves may be influenced by a constitution, written or tacit, and the rights encoded therein. The law shapes politics, economics, history and society in various ways and serves as a mediator of relations between people.

University of Warsaw largest university in Poland

The University of Warsaw, established in 1816, is the largest university in Poland. It employs over 6,000 staff including over 3,100 academic educators. It provides graduate courses for 53,000 students. The University offers some 37 different fields of study, 18 faculties and over 100 specializations in Humanities, technical as well as Natural Sciences.

Literary career

The stay in Geneva was extremely important for shaping the personality of the young writer. His meeting and in-depth conversation with Mickiewicz, who dazzled him to the extent of his knowledge, proved to be vital in creating and shaping Krasiński's literary techniques, however, he was sociopolitically more conservative than the other poets. He published much of his work anonymously. The blossoming friendship with Mickiewicz undoubtedly accelerated the intellectual mind of the young poet. From August 14 to September 1 of 1830 they travelled together to the High Alps; Krasiński described this event in his diary and highlighted the trip in a letter to his father dating from September 5, 1830. Soon after his arrival to Geneva, in the beginning of November, 1829, he also met Henry Reeve, the son of a doctor, who at the time was in Switzerland for philosophical and literary studies. The young Englishman, noble and extremely talented in composing excessive romantic poetry, greatly inspired Zygmunt Krasiński. They soon became close friends and often wrote letters in which they stated and extensively highlighted their love for classical and romantic literature and prose.

High Alps

The High Alps are those parts of the Alps unsuitable for habitation or seasonal transhumance. This includes all regions higher than 3,000 m above sea level, as well as most regions between 2,500 m and 3,000 m.

Henry Reeve was an English journalist.

At the beginning of 1830, Krasiński developed feelings for Henrietta Willan, the daughter of a wealthy English merchant and tradesman. This highly romantic relationship, strictly not associated with the thought of marriage, provided new experiences and proved to be an inspiration for the future works composed by Krasiński.

England Country in north-west Europe, part of the United Kingdom

England is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Wales to the west and Scotland to the north-northwest. The Irish Sea lies west of England and the Celtic Sea lies to the southwest. England is separated from continental Europe by the North Sea to the east and the English Channel to the south. The country covers five-eighths of the island of Great Britain, which lies in the North Atlantic, and includes over 100 smaller islands, such as the Isles of Scilly and the Isle of Wight.

Zygmunt Krasiński kept a diary and wrote many letters indicating that he suffered morally over the failed November Uprising of 1831 against the Russian Empire, and he gave himself in to Tsar Nicholas's Court in ill health. [3] He was released and went to Vienna. [3]

November Uprising Polish uprising against occupying Russian Empire in 1830-1831

The November Uprising (1830–31), also known as the Polish–Russian War 1830–31 or as the Cadet Revolution, was an armed rebellion in the heartland of partitioned Poland against the Russian Empire. The uprising began on 29 November 1830 in Warsaw when the young Polish officers from the local Army of the Congress Poland's military academy revolted, led by lieutenant Piotr Wysocki. Large segments of the peoples of Lithuania, Belarus, and the Right-bank Ukraine soon joined the uprising. Although the insurgents achived local successes, a numerically superior Imperial Russian Army under Ivan Paskevich eventually crushed the uprising. The Russian Emperor Nicholas I decreed that henceforth Poland would become an integral part of Russia. With Warsaw little more than a military garrison, its university closed.

Nicholas I of Russia Emperor of Russia

Nicholas I reigned as Emperor of Russia from 1825 until 1855. He was also the King of Poland and Grand Duke of Finland. He has become best known as a political conservative whose reign was marked by geographical expansion, repression of dissent, economic stagnation, poor administrative policies, a corrupt bureaucracy, and frequent wars that culminated in Russia's defeat in the Crimean War of 1853–56. Nicholas had a happy marriage that produced a large family; seven children survived childhood. His biographer Nicholas V. Riasanovsky says that Nicholas displayed determination, singleness of purpose, and an iron will, along with a powerful sense of duty and a dedication to very hard work. He saw himself as a soldier—a junior officer totally consumed by spit and polish. A handsome man, he was highly nervous and aggressive. Trained as an engineer, he was a stickler for minute detail. In his public persona, says Riasanovsky, "Nicholas I came to represent autocracy personified: infinitely majestic, determined and powerful, hard as stone, and relentless as fate." He was the younger brother of his predecessor, Alexander I. Nicholas inherited his brother's throne despite the failed Decembrist revolt against him and went on to become the most reactionary of all Russian leaders.

He is best known for his philosophical Messianist ideas and tragic dramas. [2] Krasiński's writings from the 1830s are full of frenetic plots, strongly influenced by gothic fiction and Dante Alighieri. As the poet's most famous works show, he is most interested in the extreme face of human existence such as hate, desperation or solitude. His drama, Nie-boska Komedia (The Un-Divine Comedy, 1833), portrays the tragedy of an old-world aristocracy defeated by a new order of communism and democracy, and is a poetic prophecy of class conflict and of Russia's October Revolution (see also Okopy Świętej Trójcy ). The work was paraphrased and expanded by Edward Robert, Lord Lytton, as "Orval, the Fool of Time" (1869). [3] Krasiński's Agaj-Han (1834) is also well known in Poland. It is a historical-poetic novel, though unlike the historical novels which were popular in Poland, such as those of Walter Scott. Agaj-Han is filled by macabre motives, death and fratricide. Upon human life still exists tragic fate. His drama, Irydion (1836), deals, in the context of Christian ethics, with the struggle of a subjugated nation against its oppressor.

His muse for many years was Countess Delfina Potocka (likewise a friend of Frédéric Chopin), with whom he conducted a romance from 1838 to 1846. Later she continued to be his friend, and he wrote for her "Sen Cezary" ("Cezara's Dream", published 1840) and "Przedświt" ("Predawn", published 1843). "Predawn" is his best-known poem, a nationalist poem which sees the Partitions of Poland as retribution for sins committed, and which predicts Poland's reappearance, as a world leader. [2] Chopin set a poem by Krasiński as a song (see "Polish songs by Frédéric Chopin").

On 26 July 1843, Krasiński married Polish Countess Eliza Branicka (1820–76).

Later (1844–48) Krasiński wrote Psalmy Przyszłości (Psalms of the Future), in which he called for the Christian virtues of love and charity.

Related Research Articles

Cyprian Norwid Polish poet, dramatist, painter, and sculptor (1821-1883)

Cyprian Kamil Norwid, a.k.a. Cyprian Konstanty Norwid, was a nationally esteemed Polish poet, dramatist, painter, and sculptor. He was born in the Masovian village of Laskowo-Głuchy near Warsaw. One of his maternal ancestors was the Polish King John III Sobieski.

January Suchodolski Polish artist

January Suchodolski was a Polish painter and Army officer, and a member of the Imperial Academy of Arts.

Władysław Grzegorz Branicki Polish noble

Count Władysław Grzegorz Branicki was a Polish nobleman, senator and Russian general.

Count Władysław Krasiński (1844–1873) was a Polish nobleman.

Romanticism in Poland

Romanticism in Poland, a literary, artistic and intellectual period in the evolution of Polish culture, began around 1820, coinciding with the publication of Adam Mickiewicz's first poems in 1822. It ended with the suppression of the Polish-Lithuanian January 1863 Uprising against the Russian Empire in 1864. The latter event ushered in a new era in Polish culture known as Positivism.

Three Bards three Polish Romantic poets: Adam Mickiewicz, Juliusz Słowacki, Zygmunt Krasiński

The Three Bards are the national poets of Polish Romantic literature. They lived and worked in exile during the partitions of Poland which ended the existence of the Polish sovereign state. Their tragic poetical plays and epic poetry written in the aftermath of the 1830 Uprising against the Russian rulership, revolved around the Polish struggle for independence from foreign powers.

Krasiński is a surname of Polish, or generally Slavic, origin.

Polish poetry has a centuries-old history, similar to the Polish literature.

Stefan Witwicki Polish poet

Stefan Witwicki was a Polish poet of the Romantic period.

Delfina Potocka socialite

Delfina Potocka, née Komar, a Polish countess, was a friend and muse to Polish expatriate artists Frédéric Chopin and Zygmunt Krasiński. She was noted for her beauty, intellect and artistic gifts. In her youth she was a piano student of Chopin's.

Celina Szymanowska Polish composer

Celina Szymanowska was a daughter of the Polish composer and pianist Maria Agata Szymanowska and the wife of the Polish Romantic poet Adam Mickiewicz.

Opinogóra Górna Village in Masovian, Poland

Opinogóra Górna is a village in Ciechanów County, Masovian Voivodeship, in east-central Poland. It is the seat of the gmina called Gmina Opinogóra Górna. It lies approximately 7 kilometres (4 mi) north-east of Ciechanów and 79 km (49 mi) north of Warsaw.

Edmund Chojecki Polish writer, journalist, traveler, publicist and poet, Polish-French translator, supporter of national romanticism and utopian socialism

Edmund Franciszek Maurycy Chojecki was a Polish journalist, playwright, novelist, poet and translator. Originally hailing from Warsaw, from 1844 he resided in France, where he wrote under the pen name Charles Edmond.

Czapski Palace palace

The Czapski Palace, also called the Krasiński, Sieniawski or Raczyński Palace, is a substantial palace in the center of Warsaw, at 5 Krakowskie Przedmieście. It is considered one of the most distinguished examples of rococo architecture in Poland's capital.

Polish songs (Chopin) Polish song-cycle by Chopin

Although Frédéric Chopin is best known for his works for piano solo, among his extant output are 19 songs for voice and piano, set to Polish texts.

Krasiński family noble family

Krasiński is the surname of a Polish noble family. Krasińska is the feminine form. The name derives from the village of Krasne in Masovia. The family dates from the 14th century. Its members were landowners and politically active in Masovia, Lithuania and Halychyna. The Krasiński family has produced officers, politicians and bishops. Probably its most celebrated member is the 19th-century poet, Zygmunt Krasiński, one of Poland's Three Bards.

<i>The Crimean Sonnets</i>

The Crimean Sonnets are a series of 18 Polish sonnets by Adam Mickiewicz, constituting an artistic telling of a journey through the Crimea. They were published in 1826, together with a cycle of love poems called the "Odessan Sonnets", in a collection called Sonety (Sonnets).

Monica Mary Gardner was an English writer on Poland and Polish writers and a translator of Polish literature.


  1. http://ipsb.nina.gov.pl/index.php/a/napoleon-stanislaw-adam-feliks-zygmunt-krasinski#
  2. 1 2 3 "Zygmunt Krasiński". Encyclopædia Britannica. Retrieved 25 August 2013.
  3. 1 2 3 Wikisource-logo.svg A. Tarnowski (1913). "Sigismund Krasinski"  . In Herbermann, Charles (ed.). Catholic Encyclopedia . New York: Robert Appleton Company.