St Petersburg & Russia

Russia and St Petersburg in Literature


Coetzee, J.M., The Master of Petersburg, Penguin 1995

Russian novelist Dostoevsky goes on a spiritual quest to find his stepson, who died under mysterious circumstances in St Petersburg in 1869.

Dostoevsky, Fyodor, Poor Folk and Other Stories, Penguin 1989 (originally 1846).

A poor civil servant in 19th-century St Petersburg corresponds with his pretty young niece.

Dostoevsky, Fyodor, The Idiot, Penguin 2004 (originally 1868).

A Russian prince causes consternation in St Petersburg society with his innocence and honesty.

Dostoevsky, Fyodor, Crime and Punishment, Penguin 2003 (originally 1866).

The descriptions of 19th-century St Petersburg in this novel are meticulous. The route that the main figure Raskolnikov takes can still be traced today.

Dostoevsky, Fyodor, A Gentle Creature and Other Stories incl. White Nights, OUP 2009 (originally 1848).

During the light summer months a love blossoms in 19th-century St Petersburg between two young and lonely people.

Gogol, Nicolai V., Dairy of a Madman, The Government Inspector and Selected Stories, Penguin 2005 (originally 1835).

A fictitious diary of an insane government clerk in St Petersburg who feels himself to be the victim of his superiors. Includes The Nose.

Goncharov, Ivan A., Oblomov, Penguin 2005 (originally 1838).

Oblamov’s life goes into free-fall. Told with charm and sympathy, this is a story of indolence and aristocratic decay.


Luellen, Valentina, The Countess, Masquerade, Toronto, 1980

Around 1760 at the court in St Petersburg, when the cruel Tsar Peter the Third comes to power, a countess falls in love with a low-born Cossack officer, against her better judgment.

Morris, R.N., The Gentle Axe, Penguin, 2007

In a park in St Petersburg in 1866, a dead man is hanging from a tree with a blood-soaked axe tucked in his belt. Further along, in a case, is a dwarf, killed by an axe. The conclusion seems obvious.

Pushkin, Alexandr S., The Captain’s Daughter, Hesperus 2007 (originally 1836)

Tender romance against the background of revolutions under Tsarina Catherine II in 1771-1775.

Pushkin, Alexandr S., The Queen of Spades and Other Stories, Oxford World’s Classics, 1999 (originally 1827-1837)

Narrative verse about an impoverished officer, Herman, in 18th-century St Petersburg, who becomes a passionate admirer of Liza - the bride of Prince Yeletsky.

Includes Peter the Great’s Blackamoor: The romanticised story of Pushkin's great-grandfather, an Abyssinian.

Pushkin, Alexandr S., Eugene Onegin, Penguin, 2003 (originally 1833).

Verse novel about the tragic love of the innocent Tatyana for the St Petersburg dandy Eugene Onegin.

Pushkin, Alexandr S., The Bronze Horseman, Secker and Warburg 1982 (originally 1904).

Epic poem about a flood in St Petersburg in 1824.

Raspe, Rudolf E., Baron Munchausen's Narrative of his Marvellous Travels and Campaigns in Russia, published anonymously in 1785 (recent edition: Baron Munchausen’s Narrative of his Marvellous Travels, Dover 2005.)

Novel about the mendacious German Baron von Munchausen, who travels to St Petersburg and experiences numerous incredible adventures on the way.

Schulze, Ingo, 33 Moments of Happiness, Picador 2000

Prose debut by Berlin author Ingo Schulze with notes by and about Germans in St Petersburg. The city mainly serves as a backdrop for Schulze’s literary fantasies.

Tsypkin, Leonid, Summer in Baden-Baden, Penguin 2006.

It is winter and the narrator, Leonid Tsypkin, is on his way by train to Leningrad, where he plans to search for traces of his favourite writer, Dostoevsky. Tsypkin offers an impressionist biography of Dostoevsky in a stream of consciousness portrait.

Vries, Theun de, Sint-Petersburg, Querido, Amsterdam 1992.

A young Russian officer is confronted in the Napoleonic war with a different European society (Dutch).

Vries, Theun de, Terug uit Irkutsk, Querido, Amsterdam 1994.

The turbulent life of an intelligent aristocratic woman in tsarist Russia around 1850, when the first signs of the coming revolution begin to appear. Continuation of Sint-Petersburg (Dutch).

Zeeman, Peter (ed.), Vier Petersburgers: Innokenti Annenski, Osip Mandelstam, Alexander Kusjner, Joseph Brodsky, De Bezige Bij, Amsterdam, 1996.

Work by four Russian poets who each had a particular connection with St Petersburg.

Opening hours

Daily 10 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Closed on 27 April (Kingsday)
Open on Christmas Day (25-12) &
1 January 11 a.m.- 5 p.m.

The Hermitage Amsterdam is located on Amstel 51, Amsterdam

Photo Roy Beusker Fotografie

More information:
+31 (0)20 530 74 88

More information online ticketing:
+31 (0)20 530 87 55


Hermitage Amsterdam would like to thank:

Main sponsors
Exhibition sponsor
Media partner
Internet partner