The three facets of Gorky House

art & culture
The three facets of Gorky House

A beautiful example of ‘Modern Stil', Gorky House both symbolises and exemplifies a literary movement tormented and compromised by power, socialist realism, and, of course, Stalinism.

Gloriously bestowed with a silver medal at the World Exhibition in Paris in 1900, Russian and Catholic architect Fyodor Schechtel rebuilt Yaroslav station (that connects Moscow to Vladivostok and China) in historicist neo-Russian style. OnMalaya Nikitskaya street, he built a mansion for the wealthy merchant Ryabushinsky in pure Modern Stil Russian Art Nouveau. It was despised after the revolution because it was considered bourgeois, but it was still properly identified and preserved.

The volumetric clarity of the façade; the mosaic frieze of ornamental motifs inspired by nature; the organically shaped balustrade evoking the movement of waves; the windows, library, dining room, bedroom, chapel, paintings, sculptures, furniture, ceilings, ironwork… everything here exudes Art Nouveau down to the very door handles. The mansion became a gilded prison for the writer Maxim Gorky, a founding proponent of socialist realism, who returned here from 1931 to 1936, after a second exile.

And, after Gorky, it became a literary salon and a headquarters for writers.

Gorky House
Malaya Nikitskaya, 6/2
Moscow 121069

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