The exhibits of the hall refer to the time when Tolstoy was writing his novel "Anna Karenina" in which, according to the author, he "loved the idea of a family." Tolstoy began working on this novel inspired by Pushkin's sketch: "The guests were arriving to a country house", then gradually he moved from a family theme to broad social and philosophical issues. The novel turned out to become "broad, free," presenting a panoramic view of the Russian society in the post-reform of 1861 time, when the foundations of the patriarchal life were crumbling. The work on the novel continued intermittently for more than 4 years (from 1873 to 1877).
In the showcase we can see the manuscripts of the novel: sheet 9 of the first editing of the novel, the manuscript of the 6th editing of the scene of tryst of Anna with her son, a proofed page of the epilogue with corrections of Tolstoy. We know how thoroughly Tolstoy worked on each page, sometimes rewriting a scene many times. Countess Sofia often performed the role of the secretary of the writer. In the hall we can see a ring with a ruby which Tolstoy gave to his wife in gratitude for her rewriting of the novel.The memorial exhibits in the hall include the items related to the wedding of Leo Tolstoy and Sofia Bers: wedding candles, gloves, orange blossom bride. Tolstoy introduced the story of his marriage to the novel (the description of the wedding and family life of Levin and Kitty).
The first portrait of the writer was painted in 1873 by I.N. Kramskoi when Tolstoy worked on the novel (a copy by N.V.Orlov of the original portrait is on display in the hall). .
Two magnificent portraits: M.A.Gartung (artist I.K.Makarov) and M.A.Dyakova (artist K.I. Lash) adorn the hall. M.A.Dyakova, a sister of a friend of Tolstoy , was one of the first Russian women who decided to divorce, so her story served for Tolstoy as the material for the novel., Tolstoy got acquainted with M.A.Gartung, the eldest daughter of Pushkin, at a ball in Tula. Her unusual beauty and gentility attracted the attention of Tolstoy and impressed him so that he displayed the traits of her appearance in Anna, the main character of the novel. A portrait of V.G.Chertkov (by Kramskoi) who was the closest friend and follower of Tolstoy, is also displayed in the hall.
The novel "Anna Karenina" was published in the journal "Russian Herald" in 1875-1877. The 8th part of the novel appeared in a book form in 1877. (this publication is shown in the exhibition). The novel caused a heated debate: the radical press condemned Tolstoy for lack of principle, and Saltykov-Shchedrin even called the work "a cow novel". Dostoevsky defended Tolstoy, saying that the novel was “a work of art", and Levin, with his spiritual quest, was a very modern Russian character. In the hall you can also see a lot of illustrations to the novel by Y. Pimenov, O.Vereyski, K.I Rudakov, A.V. Vanetsian.
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.