Zinaida Gippius and Dmitri Merezhkovsky in Paris. 11 Bis, Avenue du Colonel-Bonnet. 1911 – 1940


Zinaida Gippius (1869, Beliov, Russian Empire – 1945, Paris, France) – Russian poet, writer, playwright, and literary critic of the Silver Age, nicknamed “the Decadent Madonna”. Theorist of Russian symbolism.

Dmitri Merezhkovsky (1865, Saint Petersburg, Russian Empire – 9 December 1941, Paris, France) – Russian poet, prose writer, literary critic, translator, historian and philosopher.

One of the most original and prolific couples in the history of Russian literature, having played a decisive role in Russian symbolism. They left Russia for the first time in February 1906. They lived in Paris for two years, where Gippius organized her first “Saturdays”, creative meetings of writers. On their second visit to Paris in 1911, Gippius bought a flat in Passy, on Avenue du Colonel-Bonnet (formerly Avenue Mercedes), 11 bis. This property acquisition saved them later, as they were one of the few emigrants to own a home in France. The rudimentary flat, with cheap rattan furniture, became the centre of the intellectual life of Russian emigrants in Paris. It was the venue of the literary-philosophical salon Green Lamp (1925/1927 – 1939), bringing together the most brilliant representatives of Russian literary emigration.


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