Houses of Russian Artists Created by Their Own Projects

Many people value their own space and would be glad to have an opportunity to create their dream house themselves. Some Russian artists and architects felt the same, and many actually did manage to bring their projects to life.

Domenico Trezzini, 1721-1726

The main project of the house was created by Trezzini, one of the main architects of Peter The Great. Later, it was built by Stefan van Zviten and Mikhail Zemtsov according to the drawings. It is a fine example of the Petrine Baroque style. The building itself has 2 storeys, a balcony, and a mezzanine floor. It is known that two rooms of the house served as a school of Trezzini, where he worked with his students.

For a long time the building preserved it’s original look, until in 1830’s it received a new facade in the style of Classicism and another storey. After this, the house was rebuild multiple times, but in the 21st century it was decided to recover the original look of it.

Vasily Polenov, 1892

Polenov, an acclaimed painter of 19th – 20th centuries, was involved in multiple architectural projects over the course of his life. His own house was not an exception.

Now it is a museum, and it’s territory includes the artist’s workshop, several outbuildings for utilitarian purposes, a park, and multiple gardens. This museum received a special protection from the government right after the revolution, in 1918, which meant that during the soviet times it was safe from nationalisation. Polenov created this place specifically for the purposes of housing pieces of the folk art, and the painter himself often gave excursions around the territory to the visitors. Up to this day the museum is open to the public.

Viktor Vasnetsov, 1893 – 1894

This painter created his house, that now belongs to the Tretyakov Gallery, with the help of an architect Mikhail Priemyshev. Together they came up with an eclectic project in The Russian Revival style, that combines the elements of ancient Russian architecture and Art Nouveau.

The first floor of this house had a living room, rooms for Vasnetsov’s wife and kids, and a dining room. The second floor was reserved for the spacious workshop, where the artist created his masterpieces. The facade of the house is decorated with columns, reliefs, window casing moulding, colourful ceramic tile. The details of this decoration was made in the best artistic workshops and factories of the time – in Abramtsevo and Stroganovo, and in the ceramic factory of Savva Mamontov.

Ilya Repin, 1900 – 1906

Ilya Repin, another accomplished painter of his time, called his house “Penates” in the honour of the roman household deities. It is a beautiful house that stands on the shore of the Gulf of Finland, near the city of St. Petersburg.

The house became one of the museums under the Russian Academy of Arts. Now you can see there many personal belongings of Repin, as well as his artistic works. It also has many paintings and drawings of other Russian painters, for example of Repin’s son – Yuriy. Visitors can also admire the memorial park and it’s beautiful nature.

It is known that the owners of the house often served vegetarian dishes in their famous dining room, and some of their recipes were preserved and can be found in the museum.

Fyodor Schechtel, 1910

Schechtel was the most important architect of the Art Nouveau style in Russia, whose elegant and fantastical houses are one of the highlights of Moscow’s cultural wonders.

His house on Bolshaya Sadovaya Street was built unusually fast, only in 3 months. Its look is somewhat unconventional, because the house was created in neoclassical style but with the use of asymmetry and contrast, that are highly unusual for this architectural style. On the top of the arch there is a friso with a bas-relief that shows the figure of a greek goddess Athena and the Muses.

According to the memories of Schechtel’s contemporaries, he often invited many talented writes, philosophers, and artists. Among them were Pavel Florensky, Vladimir Mayakovsky, Natalia Goncharova.

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