The emphasis of the exhibition in this hall is made on the family tree of Tolstoy which stands as a kind of a bridge across Eternity, towering above the ocean of time. On the bridge there are most important milestones, persons and names which have been engraved in Russia's history, politics, military victories, diplomatic conventions, geographical discoveries, cultural and social movements.
Among Tolstoy's ancestors were tsar's personal servants, stewards, magistrates, Russian ambassadors, leaders of the aristocracy, thinkers, poets, writers, artists.
The first one to receive the title of Count in the eighteenth century was Pyotr Andreyevich Tolstoy, a man of a dramatic and unusual destiny. He was a fellow campaigner of Peter the First; in this office he demonstrated his remarkable talents: in the declining years he have studied the naval science and mastered foreign languages, he was appointed the first permanent Russian ambassador to the Ottoman Empire, became a senator, Knight of St. Andrew.
After the death of Peter I a meteoric rise of his career ended in its complete collapse. He was exiled to the Solovki Monastery. P.A.Tolstoy became the prototype for one of the protagonists of a novel conceived by Leo Tolstoy from the time of Peter I, which the writer saw as “a knot of the Russian life."
We can not but draw our attention to the coat of arms of the Tolstoys with evidences of the long history of the family. We can see a sword crossed with an arrow and threaded into the ring of the gold key in the center of the shield in the square; the coat of arms is a reminder of the events of the diplomatic service of P.A.Tolstoy as well: a seven column castle with two overturned crescents symbolizing his release from prison and the triumph of liberation. Two greyhounds, supporting a shield have a meaning of a sure and rapid success in affairs.
We can see in the hall interesting portraits of two grandfathers of Leo Tolstoy. Ilia Andreevich.Tolstoy (father line) poses as a typical hospitable Russian lord who is accustomed to live in a big way (the prototype of the old Count Rostov). Nikolai Sergeevich Volkonski (mother line) can be easily visualized after reading the pages of “War and Peace” related to the old Prince Bolkonski.
In accordance with the customs of the time, Nicholas Volkonsky, at the age of 7, was enrolled for military service and as a young man served in the Guard. In 1794 Volkonsky suddenly left the service. According to a legend, the reason was his refusal to marry Varenka Engelhard, niece of His Serene Highness Prince Potemkin. Later, after her marriage to Prince Golitsyn, both Volkonskys and Golitsyns were on friendly terms and even shared their family portraits. The portrait of the Grand Lady of Catherine's time, once one of the most beautiful women of the XVIII century, is on display in our Empire hall as one of the most colorful memorabilia.
N.S. Volkonsky's service under Paul I was brief enough. He retired for good and went with his daughter Maria Volkonskaya to Yasnaya Polyana where he has locked the device estate. Nikolai Sergeevich was a well educated man, knew several languages, was interested in literature, music, theater. He raised his daughter Mary in the same spirit. Her portrait unfortunately did not survive.
The museum presents two portraits by artist Rokotov: one of Prince Dmitry Yurevich Trubetskoy, great-grandfather of Leo Tolstoy, and the other of his eldest daughter Praskovia Dmitrievna Gagarina-Mauger.
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.