Lamartine, Alphonse de (1790–1869), a French poet and statesman. His Poetic Meditations (1820) is often credited with beginning the Romantic movement in French poetry. After attending a Jesuit college, he lived in Italy for a time. He was secretary to the French legation at Naples (1820) and Florence (1825–28). Lamartine was elected to the French Academy in 1829.
Lamartine was in the Chamber of Deputies, 1833–40. A leader of the 1848 Revolution, he was foreign minister in the provisional government with almost dictatorial powers. After the triumph of Louis Napoleon, he retired from politics. He was granted a small pension, and died in obscurity. His other poetry includes: Harmonies Poétiques et Religieuses (1830); Jocelyn (1836). Histoire des Girondins(1846) and Graziella (1852) are prose works.