Andrey Bely was born in Moscow, on 14th October, 1880. The son of a mathematics professor, Bely studied philosophy at the University of Moscow.
While a student Bely began writing poetry. His first major work was The Northern Symphony (1901). This was followed by Gold in Azure (1904), Ashes (1909), Urna (1909), a novel, The Silver Dove (1910) and Peterburg (1913).
Bely's poetry, with its "intricate musical system of inter-woven themes and motifs," was considered very difficult and was unpopular with the general public. After the October Revolution Bely was attacked by supporters of Socialist Realism as producing "decadent poetry".
As well as his poetry Bely wrote a series of experimental novels such as The Memoirs of a Crank (1923), Moscow (1926) and Masks (1930). He also wrote four volumes of memoirs: Recollections of Alexander Blok (1922), On the Border of Two Centuries (1929), The Beginning of a Century (1932) and Between Two Revolutions (1933).
Andrey Bely died in Moscow on 7th January, 1934.