Rainer Maria Rilke

1875 (Prague) – 1926 (Montreux, Switzerland)

Andreas-Salomé was a lover and lifelong friend: she taught him Russian, and accompanied him to Moscow. He met Pasternak as a child, whose father introduced him to Tolstoy. He knew Modersohn-Becker (who painted his portrait) while living in an artists’ colony in Germany: he was deeply affected when she died following childbirth. In Paris he became Rodin’s secretary, wrote a book on him, and was a regular at Mallarmé’s salon. Tsvetaeva and Pasternak engaged in a passionate triangular literary correspondence with him. Moving in with their mother, he was an influential mentor to Klossowski and Balthus.

Rainer Maria Rilke knew…