History of museum buildings. We are going to visit Nikolai Gogol

May 19
Culture

Nikolai Gogol spent the last four years of his life in a mansion on Nikitsky Boulevard. Arrived there in 1848 at the invitation of his friend Count Alexander Tolstoy, he worked on the second volume of Dead Souls novel. In 1851, in this house, he read his play The Inspector General to the actors of the Maly Theater and literators. Today, it is the only museum in Russia dedicated to the writer.

How the manor house have been changing

The site where the House-Museum of Nikolai Gogol now stands was initially mentioned in documents of the XVII century. That time, the land belonged to the centurion Ivan Buturlin, who built stone palace here, and later it became the property of Alexey Plokhovo, who planted a garden near it. After that, the house belonged to Maria Fyodorovna Saltykova.

At the beginning of the XIX century, the site passed over to the collegiate assessor Dmitry Boltin. On his watch, the building began to take on its present appearance. The new owner moved the main entrance to the manor house on Nikitsky Boulevard which by that time had just begun to be created. He completed part of the house, and built a service building in front of it.

The fire of 1812 made its own adjustments to the history of the manor house. The old wooden buildings were burned down, and even the stone houses were badly damaged. Boltin did not want to engage in reconstruction, sold everything and moved to Nizhny Novgorod. The manor house was bought by Major General Alexander Talyzin, a participant in the Battle of Borodino. The new owner has put his possessions in order. Under his watch, on the main house and the service building the identical arcades with balconies appeared. After his death, the manor house was inherited by a relative of the Major General, titular counsellor Talyzina.

At the same time, Count Alexander Tolstoy returned to Moscow from a long European trip. He liked the manor house on Nikitsky Boulevard, which at that time was owned by Olga Nikolaevna Talyzina. And soon, in 1848, a friend of the count, Nikolai Gogol, came here to stay for a while. Initially, the Tolstoys rented the manor house, they bought it after the writer's death.

The sorrows of the last house

From 1832 to 1848, Gogol visited Moscow between trips abroad. His favorite city was Rome, and the writer longed for the Italian capital with its amazing architecture and beautiful climate. In the Eternal City, he met Alexander Tolstoy, and later, having settled in Moscow, Alexander Tolstoy invited the writer to his manor house on Nikitsky Boulevard. It was in this house where Gogol created the second volume of the Dead Souls novel. It is believed that Tolstoy became the prototype of one of the characters- the Governor-General.

Alexandr Petrovich Tolstoy

Nikolai Gogol lived in two rooms on the ground floor with exit to the front vestibule. He was highly tickled at the simple furnishings consisting of a few chairs, two tables, two sofas, a couple of cabinets, and a fireplace.

"Here Gogol was taken care of like a child, giving complete freedom in everything. He didn't care about anything. Lunch, breakfast, tea, and dinner were served wherever he ordered. His underwear was washed and placed in chests of drawers by invisible spirits, unless it was also put on him by invisible spirits," Tolstoy's friend, the poet and translator Nikolai Berg, recalled.

The fact that the author of Dead Souls, Marriage, Evenings on a Farm near Dikanka lives here quickly became known to students of Moscow University, and many of them tried to meet him. On November 5, 1851, a special reading of The Inspector General took place in one of the rooms. Gogol read his by then already famous play in front of writers Sergei and Ivan Aksakov, Ivan Turgenev, Grigory Danilevsky, actors of the Maly Theater Mikhail Shchepkin, Prov Sadovsky and Sergei Shumsky. It seemed that in the life of the writer the quiet, happy years came. But this was only the calm before the storm, in Moscow, Gogol experienced a serious crisis.

In January 1852, he was struck by the news of the sudden death of Ekaterina Khomyakova, his good friend. At the same time, Count Tolstoy was visited by Priest Matthew Konstantinovsky, whose opinion Gogol trusted very much.

The house on Nikitsky Boulevard became the last dwelling of the writer. In February 1952, he began to feel unwell, getting worse every day. Nikolai Gogol lost his appetite, lost his strength, and could not get out of bed. The home owners even called a medical consultation, at which the writer was diagnosed with meningitis, that was later not confirmed. He was treated according to all the rules of the that time medicine: a warm bath, mustard plasters, leeches. But nothing helped.

It is known that the writer was subject to a common phobia of being buried alive at that time. He expressed such concerns even before his illness. Gogol asked that his body not be buried until there were obvious signs of corruption. "Even during the illness itself, moments of vital numbness came upon me, my heart and pulse stopped beating..." he wrote.

On February 21, Gogol died. He could have turned 43 in a month.

New owners

In 1857, the territory on which the manor house was located increased. Anna Tolstaya bought from a neighbor a plot adjacent to the manor building on the north side. In 1876, its owner was Maria Stolypina, the widow of the province marshal of nobility Afanasy Stolypin, and then her daughter Natalia.

She partially rebuilt the manor building. The wooden first floor in the eastern part was removed, and a stone one was erected instead. She also redid the rooms on the ground floor - just the ones where Nikolai Gogol lived. A two-story tenemant building was attached to the side of the building that faces the boulevard. The project in the Art Nouveau style was designed by architect Alexander Meisner.

The next owner - Maria Katkova, Natalia Stolypina's niece. She ordered a ladder made of fireproof materials to the house, it is still there.

After the revolution, the house was given over to communal apartments.

The only museum in Russia

In 1923, in some premises of the main building of the manor house, a library was located, the appearance of which was insisted on by Nadezhda Krupskaya. In the mid-1960s, the building was completely given over to the library. In the 1970s, it was renovated, the original elements of the decoration could not be preserved.

In 1959, a monument to Gogol was erected in the courtyard. The sculptor Nikolai Andreev created it back in 1909, but earlier it stood on Prechistensky Boulevard (since 1924 - Gogolevsky).

Photo by Maxim Denisov, Mos.ru

The memorial rooms on the ground floor were opened in 1974. In 1979, they decided to rename the library after Gogol. The staff restored the interior of the premises according to archival documents, the memories of those who visited Nikolai Gogol. However, there were not so many memorial items.

Gogol House - Memorial Museum

In 2005, the library became a memorial center. The museum, the only one in Russia dedicated to Nikolai Gogol, opened here in 2009.

The museum's exposition is located in six rooms on the ground floor. Each room has its own main subject. In the living room, there is a fireplace, where the manuscripts of the second volume of Dead Souls were burnt. On the table there are books and items from the personal collection of the descendants of the writer's sister. In the memory room there is a Gogol's death mask. He died in the warmest room on the ground floor, where he was brought already seriously ill.

In the hallway, you can see a travel chest - the reminiscent of the writer's wanderlust. In the study there is a text of five chapters of the second volume, restored from the drafts with great difficulty that the executor found in the papers of Gogol after his death. In the study there is a desk - the writer liked to work standing at such a desk.

To date, the library's collection includes more than 250 thousand books. There are more than 300 volumes of Gogol's lifetime and later editions.

In addition to the museum and library, the Gogol House has an exhibition hall and the art space ‘New Wing’, opened in 2014. It is located in the Katkovs' tenement building, built in 1910-1912 by the architect Dmitry Chelishchev. The exhibitions of contemporary art are held there.

Today, the Gogol House hosts lectures on art and literature, performances, creative classes for children, concerts, as well as annual international conferences ‘Gogol Readings’.

Source: mos.ru

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