ARTAMON SERGYEEVICH (MATVYEEV - 1682), Russian statesman and reformer, was one of the greatest of the precursors of Peter the Great.
Apparently his birth was humble, but when the obscure figure of the young Artamon emerges into the light of history we find him equipped at all points with the newest ideas, absolutely free from the worst prejudices of his age, a ripe scholar, and even an author of some distinction.
In 1671 the tsar Alexius and Artamon were already on intimate terms, and on the retirement of Orduin-Nashchokin Matvyeev became the tsar's chief counsellor.
The May revolution of 1682 placed Golitsuin at the head of the Posolsky Prikaz, or ministry of foreign affairs, and during the regency of Sophia, sister of Peter the Great, whose lover he became, he was the principal minister of state (1682-1689) and "keeper of the great seal," a title bestowed upon only two Russians before him, Athonasy Orduin-Nashchokin and Artamon Matvyeev.
He saw his mother's beloved mentor, and his own best friend, Artamon Matvyeev, torn, bruised and bleeding, from his retaining grasp and hacked to pieces.
In 1682 the party of progress, headed by Artamon Matvyeev and the tsaritsa Natalia, passed Ivan over and placed his half-brother, the vigorous and promising little tsarevich Peter, on the throne.