Ostroukhov House in Trubniki, Moscow, Russia

The house of Ilya Ostroukhov in Trubniki is the exhibition hall of the Dahl State Museum of the History of Russian Literature, located at Moscow, Trubnikovsky Lane, 17. It is located in the former mansion of the artist and collector Ilya Ostroukhov, who lived here from 1890 to 1929. The museum regularly organizes major exhibition projects, but does not have a permanent exhibition.

Ilya Semenovich Ostroukhov (July 20 [August 1] 1858, Moscow – July 8, 1929, Moscow) – Russian landscape painter, collector.

Member of the Association of Traveling Art Exhibitions, the Union of Russian Artists, Academician of the St. Petersburg Academy of Arts. Friend of P. M. Tretyakov, one of the leaders of the Tretyakov Gallery.

He came from a family of well-to-do merchants. In 1870, he enrolled at the “Moscow Academy of Practical Commercial Sciences “. While there, he became interested in zoology and began a correspondence with Alfred Brehm. He also started an entomological collection that would later be donated to the University of Moscow and wrote a short book called Angling for Fish (1877).

He did not take his first art lessons until 1880, when he developed the desire to become a painter after seeing an exhibition of landscape paintings staged by the Peredvizhniki. Concerned that he was too old to begin attending art school, he sought someone to give him private lessons. An old acquaintance introduced him to Alexander Kiselyov, who at that time was working at a private girls’ school and tutoring.

The following year, he felt confident enough to study with Ilya Repin. That Christmas, he worked together with Victor Vasnetsov, designing and creating decorations for a performance at the home of Savva Mamontov. After that, he became a regular visitor to Abramtsevo, sketching the landscapes and architecture.

Meanwhile, he applied at the Imperial Academy of Arts, but was only allowed to audit classes. In the evenings he studied drawing at the Imperial Society for the Encouragement of the Arts and took more lessons from Repin. Through 1884, he also spent some time in the workshop of Pavel Chistyakov. In 1886, he was able to study with Vladimir Makovsky at the Moscow School of Painting, Sculpture and Architecture. That same year, he presented two paintings at the fourteenth exhibition of the Peredvizhniki and would exhibit with them regularly after that; becoming a member in 1891.

The Tretyakov Gallery
He would also develop a close friendship with Pavel Tretyakov, who bought several of his early paintings. After Tretyakov’s death in 1898, the Moscow City Duma chose Ostroukhov as one of the trustees for the Tretyakov Gallery. From 1899 to 1903, he served as de facto head of the board, then was removed for spending too much on acquisitions.

Apparently upset by the affair, he retired to a spa in the Vosges to recuperate. In 1905, after some contention, the Duma elected him Chairman of the Board. Everything went well until 1913, when a knife-wielding attacker slashed Ivan the Terrible and His Son Ivan, Repin’s painting of Ivan the Terrible. This gave Ostroukhov’s opponents a chance to attack him. He resigned and, by mutual agreement with the Duma, was replaced by Igor Grabar.

During this period (which also included a stint as organizer of the Russian exhibition at the Exposition Universelle (1900) and election to the Imperial Academy in 1906) he had virtually given up painting. It was not until 1916, when he spent some time with friends in Crimea, that he began to sketch again. Two years later, he held his last full-scale exhibition with the Peredvizhniki.

In addition to his work with the Tretyakov Gallery, he was a notable collector in his own right; beginning in the 1890s after he married into the wealthy Botkin family of tea merchants and acquired a large house as a dowry. He accumulated over 300 paintings (including Medieval icons) and 500 drawings; mostly by Russian artists, but Degas, Manet, Renoir and Matisse were also represented. One of its highlights was The Allegory of Faith by Vermeer. He had a library of over 12,000 volumes as well; including a copy of the Divine Comedy from 1515 and a Decameron from 1757. In 1918, his collection was nationalized as a public museum and he was appointed curator for life.

By March 1929 when, as a former landlord, he found himself deprived of his voting rights, he was in very poor health and nearly blind. He died four months later. Shortly after, the museum was closed and his widow was limited to the use of two rooms in their home. She died in 1935. His collection was transferred to the Tretyakov Gallery. Later, the house was reopened as a branch of the “State Literary Museum”.

The wooden building of the museum belongs to Moscow buildings after a fire set up by the French in 1812. Built in the 1820s, the mansion survived several major rebuildings – in 1858, 1870 and 1889. During this period, the garden was lost, wooden buildings in the courtyard, as well as the borders of the site were changed. The first owner of the house was E. Solntseva, and in the 1880s, the building was acquired by the merchants Dmitry and Peter Botkin. The artist Ilya Ostroukhov became the owner in 1890 after marrying Petr Botkin’s daughter Nadezhda – she got the house on Trubnikovsky Lane as a dowry.

Since that time, Ostroukhov began to form his art collection, consisting mainly of sketches of Russian artists, works of the Impressionists and a collection of icons. In 1891, the Ostroukhov collection was opened for public access. The number of exhibits grew, and in 1905 a brick extension was made to the house, and nine years later a second floor and a residential stone outbuilding in the yard were added to it .

After the revolution, in 1918 the estate was nationalized and turned into a branch of the Tretyakov Gallery with the name “Museum of Iconography and Painting named after I. S. Ostroukhova. ” Since 1979, the mansion has been part of the State Literary Museum. During the restoration of the building, the historical appearance of the end of the XIX century was restored, the internal layout and decor were restored.

Collection history
Ilya Ostroukhov throughout his life was fond of collecting. As an accomplished artist, he began to collect sketches and sketches of his colleagues in the Abramtsevo art circle. The first in his collection was the drawing of Vasily Polenov “The Boat”, presented to him in 1883. However, most of the collection was formed in the 1890s. According to art critic Lidia Iovleva, the first exhibits Ostroukhov began to bring from his frequent trips to Europe, these were “medieval Spanish lamps, and Copenhagen faience, Egyptian household and religious objects from the excavation and Greek-Roman figurines and vases, European and Chinese porcelain and Japanese fans and engravings ”.

Friendship with Pavel Tretyakov had a great influence on the artistic taste and collection of Ostroukhov. After his death, in 1913, Ostroukhov was elected a member of the Board of Trustees of the Tretyakov Gallery, and since 1904, its head. Until the 1900s, the main collection of Ostroukhov was composed of works by Russian artists: Vasily Perov, Ilya Repin, Ivan Kramskoy, Vasily Surikov, Vasily Vasnetsov, Vasily Polenov, Ilya Levitan, Vasily Serov, Mikhail Vrubel.

At the beginning of the 20th century, Ostroukhov made friends with Sergey Diaghilev, and the collection was replenished with the work of the members of the World of Art association: “Spring on the Sea” by Konstantin Somov, watercolors by Alexander Benois and Lev Bakst. A great influence on the collection was made by the artist’s admiration for the works of the French impressionists – in 1911 he even hosted Henri Matisse at his home and at the Tretyakov Gallery.

Ilya Ostroukhov also had one of the largest collection of icons in Russia. In his collection were stored images of Andrei Bogolyubsky and Sergius of Radonezh, the work of Andrei Rublev, ancient Russian icons of Veliky Novgorod. A special place in the collection was occupied by the icon of Elijah the Prophet of the 15th century donated to the artist. As Alexander Benois recalls, Ostroukhov played an important role in the popularization of icon painting in Russia and abroad:

“Thanks to a number of unusually successful acquisitions, usually made through the help of his friend, the curator of the Tretyakov Gallery Chernogubov (a man of the finest taste, mastering collector combinations and craftiness), he made his name synonymous with the most advanced, most enlightened collector, who also provided invaluable services to Russian culture… After all, the discovery of this whole new area of beauty made a worldwide sensation (thanks to foreign exhibitions). Until recently, it was believed that all Russian painting before Peter was something amorphous, slavishly imitative; now, art historians in the West also reckon with the Russian icon, while others are even inclined to equate Russian artists (not Bogomazes, but artists), and among them in the first places Andrei Rublev and Dionysius, with Italian trekhentists and quattrocentists.”

In 1912, Ostroukhov took part in the creation of the collection of the Christian Antiquities Department of the Alexander III Russian Museum, offering the museum the services of restorers and antique dealers.

After the death of the artist in 1929, the Ostroukhov collection was removed from the mansion, and the Museum of Iconography and Painting was closed. Vera Prokhorova’s niece, Ilya Ostroukhova, later wrote in her memoirs:

“The fate of Uncle Ilina’s collection was tragic. After the unexpected death of Ostroukhov, values from his house were simply plundered. Something was transferred to the Tretyakov Gallery, and something disappeared forever. As, for example, a picture of Titian. Ostroukhov had at home a rich library of 12 thousand volumes, which, after his death, was also plundered. It was a terrible sight. Even we children understood that something terrible and spontaneous was happening. We were allowed to take a few books. Later they were kept with the bookplate “From the library of Ilya Ostroukhov.” The Bolsheviks were little interested in books. They were more interested in paintings that they hastily exported. Icons dragged.”

Most of the collection, including a collection of paintings and iconography, in 1929 was moved to the Tretyakov Gallery and the Historical Museum.

Since 1979, the mansion again acquired the status of a museum object and became owned by the State Literary Museum. In 1983, the building opened an exhibition dedicated to the 200th anniversary of the birth of Vasily Zhukovsky. From 1984 to 1992, a collection of works of the history of Russian literature of the 20th century was exhibited at the premises. In 1992, the Ostroukhov mansion acquired the status of an exhibition hall. Since 2014, Ostroukhov’s house has been functioning as a scientific and exhibition center “I.S. Ostroukhov’s House in Trubniki”.

At the beginning of 2018, “I.S. Ostroukhov’s House in Trubniki” does not have a permanent exhibition. In 2011, the museum won the contest “A Changing Museum in a Changing World |”, established by the Potanin Foundation to help museums implement modern projects .

Major exhibitions from 2014 to 2018
“ Alexander Vertinsky. Legend of the Century ”(2014) – organized for the 125th anniversary of the composer. Each section of the exhibition includes a certain stage in the artist’s life: pre-revolutionary art, emigration, life in Shanghai, return to Russia.
“Rare books of Anna Akhmatova ’s collection in the GLM collection” (2014).
“ Yuri Annenkov. Portraits, illustrations and theatrical sketches from the collection ”(2014) – dedicated to the 125th anniversary of the painter.
“The world began to be scary and great…” (2014) – dedicated to the memory of the First World War.
“The Roads of Isaac Babel ” (2014) – was opened to the 120th anniversary of the writer. The composition of the temporary exposition included manuscripts, books, photographs from life. A virtual tour is available at the exhibition.
“Moscow Pasternak in events and faces” (2015) – dedicated to the 125th anniversary of the poet.
Exhibition dedicated to the 125th anniversary of Osip Mandelstam (2015) – organized with the participation of the archives of Princeton and Heidelberg universities. The exhibition included photographs, autographs, documents, lifetime editions. The exhibition became the largest in Russia dedicated to Mandelstam.
Exhibition of paintings by Anna Saryan (2016) – in the exhibition hall exhibited works from private collections as well as new works by the artist.
The Housing Question (2016) is dedicated to the life and life of writers of the Soviet period.
“ Twelve. Russian writers as a mirror of the 1917 revolution ”, organized in honor of the 100th anniversary of the revolution and telling about the fate of Vladimir Mayakovsky, Alexander Blok, Alexei Remizov, Ivan Bunin, Zinaida Gippius, Maxim Gorky, Alexei Tolstoy, Marina Tsvetaeva, Maximilian Voloshin, Valery Bryusov, Demyan Poor and Anatoly Lunacharsky. The exhibition space was divided into twelve rooms, each of which told about the life of an individual writer.
“Literary Atlantis: Poetic Life of the 1990-2000s” (2017) – the purpose of the event was to talk about post-Soviet poetry and literature, free of state ideology.
“Rilke and Russia” (2018) – the event was organized jointly with Germany and Switzerland. The temporary exhibition includes about 280 exhibits on the cultural ties of the poet Rainer Rilke with Russia.

The museum has a cultural center for working with children. The main projects – “Non-lesson”, “Entertaining Philology”, “Writing with Feathers” – are aimed at developing creative skills among students, deepening their knowledge of the history of literature, as well as improving writing skills.