Hall 4 is dedicated to the great novel of Leo Tolstoy, with no analogues in the world literature.
The writer defined his novel as “a book about the past”. He indicated the main difference between his work and historical novels of other writers: “… Historians wrote about beautiful sentiments and words of various generals but not the history of events. I tried to write about the history of the people”.
The fiction world of the novel is immense. Military and civilian scenes, urban and manor life, characters from different walks of life, great persons with names engraved in the history, and simple unknown people who, in the opinion of Tolstoy, make history”. We see real heroes: Kutuzov, Napoleon, Alexander the First, Barklay de Tolly, as well as “fiction characters” created by imagination of the author. The central place in the hall belongs to the portrait of Leo Tolstoy by L. Pasternak. In front of us is a young man, full of vigor and energy, in the height of creative genius. By the title Tolstoy indicated the major conflict of the novel: a peaceful life which unites people in love and harmony is opposed to war: violence, hatred, destruction, separation of people.
War scenes are represented in the exhibition by well-known engravings by I.L. Ryugendas, Zh.Dyuplessi-Berto and other artists. These engravings represent true material of the time which was the subject of the author's close attention in the Rumyantsev Museum and the famous Chertkov library.. They capture the scenes of two wars described in Tolstoy's epic novel. The author opposed one to another: the 1805-1807 campaign, which was for Russia a war on foreign soil for foreign interests, and the war of 1812, which became for the Russian people the Patriotic war, a war of the people for their independence.
In the showcase we can see the first publication of the novel then titled “1805 in “Russian Journal” magazine . The manuscripts displayed nearby tell us about the work of the author on the novel which took 6 subseguent years, from 1863 tо 1869.
Also presented is a plan of the battle of Borodino which Tolstoy drew in the manuscript of "War and Peace." Working on his novel, he visited the field of Borodino to see firsthand the place of one of the major battles of the war of 1812.
In the process of creation of "War and Peace" Tolstoy consulted various historical sources. He read research works on military history, memoirs of contemporaries of the events, examined engravings, lithographs, including caricatures by artist Terebenev that mocked Napoleon and his army. Nine caricatures are on display for the first time (on the walls between the windows).
Sculptural portraits of real historical figures, leaders and rulers; Napoleon, Alexander I, Kutuzov, Barclay de Tolly are perceived by us by double vision: through the prism of history and memoir literature and by getting acquainted with the fictional images of Tolstoy's novel. We can see as the historical persons gradually merge with a brilliant gallery of "fictional" personalitiess who, in our minds, have become a part of visible reality. The war split the souls of many of them and changed their notions of life, however it did not abolish but rather reinforced the idea of eternal peace and unity.
Tolstoy's characters in the pictures on display in showcases at the windows belong to artists of different periods: S. Bashilov - the first illustrator of "War and Peace"; L.O. Pasternak - a contemporary of Tolstoy, A.A. Apsit, A. Nikolayev, D. Shmarinov. Tolstoy wrote a book, in fact, about all the wars that were, are and will be in the world, and about peace that must be nurtured in the soul of man and of humanity, a book about the unity of all people on earth. This idea is perfectly expressed by Pierre Bezukhov, the favorite character of Tolstoy: "... all the thoughts that have huge consequences are always simple. My whole idea is that if vicious people are linked and constitute the force, then honest people must do the same. After all, it is so easy. "
It is the largest collection of items related to the heritage of Russia's greatest writer and philosopher. It is also a world famous It is also the world's largest research, cultural and educational center for studies and promotion of the creative legacy of Tolstoy.
The collection consists of about 500000 items related to the life and work of Leo Tolstoy. It has been the basis for research work of specialists on Tolstoy from Russia and other countries for many decades. The major part of it is a unique collection of manuscripts of the writer and persons close to him; it also includes the collections of art, sculpture, graphics, photos and films (several thousand negatives depicting the writer); a library of rare books and publications with almost all editions of Tolstoy's works undertaken during his life.
The Мuseum was established after death of the writer by the family, friends and loved ones of the writer, many of them being prominent figures of the Russian culture. Among them are his wife Sofia and Tolstoy's children, Russian writers: V. Briusov, I. Bunin, M. Gorki, V. Veresaev; artists: I. Repin, L. Pasternak, V. Меshkov, sculptor S. Меrkurov, representatives of the theatrical community: К. Stanislavski, V. Nemirovich-Danchenko, V. Каchаlov, А. Yablochkina, followers of Tolstoy: V. Chertkov, P. Buriukov, I. Gorbunov-Posadov, N. Gusev, V. Bulgakov. The museum of L.N. Tolstoy, then settled down at 18 Povarskaia street, received first visitors on December 28, 1911. 1920 was the year of significant changes: it changed its status from public to a state one to be denominated further on as the State Literary Museum. The museum was offered new premises in the house of the Lopukhin family at 11 Prechistenka street.
The museum occupies the ancient house which is a unique example of building in Moscow after the Patriotic War of 1812. The house was designed by architect А.G. Grigoriev (1782–1868), who was rebuilding Moscow after the great fire of 1812, alongwith Osip Bove, the Gilardi family, the Shestakov brothers and other famous architects. The Lopukhin house is distinguished by monumentality and refined simplicity of the external decoration. In the house are five state rooms: reception, hall-dining room, large living room and front bedroom. The architectural diversity of the ceremonial room complements the colorful ceiling paintings, made by Italian craftsmen.
In the late 18th - early 19th century the manor belonged to the Guards Lieutenant Basil Avramovic Lopukhin, then to his son Abraham Vasilyevich. Later the house was owned by Katherine Stanitsky, Councilor of the Court. It is not known exactly whether Tolstoy visited the house, though he was a distant relative of the Lopukhin: his cousin's aunt Maria Ivanovna Lopukhin, was the elder sister of Count Tolstoy, Fyodor Ivanovich, nicknamed "American". The Lopukhin house survived until today without significant changes and is now carefully preserved by the museum.