A genius and his era: An online tour of the Pushkin State Museum

December 30, 2020
Culture

Visitors can see Pushkin’s manuscript of Tatyana’s letter to Onegin, look at the ball gowns and officer uniforms of Pushkin’s time, and find out what the renowned Russian writer’s office was like without leaving home thanks to the #Москвастобой media platform. An online tour, Pushkin Forever or Together with the Genius, is available on the site. The tour takes viewers through the halls of the Pushkin State Museum and also tells the story of the life and work of the icon of Russian literature.

The Pushkin State Museum was founded in 1957 in the former Khrushchev-Seleznev estate, built in the first third of the 19th century. There is no actual evidence that the great poet used to visit this house, but considering that the Khrushchevs, with their broad connections, would receive the entire beau-monde of Moscow, it is fair to assume that Pushkin also went there.

The exhibition Alexander Pushkin and His Time has almost 4,000 exhibits: books, manuscripts, furniture, applied and fine arts. Some of them belonged to people from Pushkin’s circle. Together with the guide, viewers of the virtual tour will get to know the poet’s biography and visit various museum halls where they can see interior items from Pushkin’s time.

The poet was born into a noble family in Moscow and was homeschooled. Later his parents decided to send him to study at the Emperor’s Lyceum in Tsarskoye Selo. He spent six years there and made true friends. After receiving his diploma and the rank of collegiate secretary, Pushkin joined the Collegium of Foreign Affairs. But the civil service was of little interest to him. Literature became Pushkin’s main pursuit.

The first hall of the online tour features 19th-century reconstructed ball gowns: dresses married ladies and unmarried girls used to wear as well as the uniform of a guard officer.

The next hall is dedicated to Pushkin’s famous novel in verse, Eugene Onegin. Visitors will see the manuscript of Tatyana Larina’s letter to Eugene Onegin and releases of the novel’s chapters. The guide will reveal how long it took Alexander Pushkin to write the poem and talk about the history of the poet’s portrait by artist Orest Kiprensky.

The third hall is the green sitting room. Its ceilings are painted with birds of paradise, and the interiors have Karelian birch furniture and an unusual samovar in the shape of an amphora, an antique vase. A copy of Natalia Pushkina’s 1832 portrait deserves special attention. Painted by artist Alexander Brullov, it is the only full-face depiction of her.

The museum has also reconstructed Alexander Pushkin’s office with the great poet’s quill and a manuscript dated 19 October 1835 (when his lyceum marked its 25th anniversary).

During the online tour, the visitors will hear excerpts from such poems as The Tale of Tsar Saltan, Ruslan and Ludmila, Recollections in Tsarskoye Selo, Labour and The Monument.

They will also see the portraits of Pushkin’s friends and teachers, including Vasily Zhukovsky, Gavriil Derzhavin and Anton Delvig.

#Москвастобой is a special online project launched by the Moscow Tourism Committee in March 2020. The website offers lectures, theatre performances, literature readings, online tours, culinary and fashion programmes and much more. Foreign visitors can view the website in English: #Moscowwithyou.

Source: mos.ru

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