Saturday, 18 February 2012


This opulent art nouveau staircase forms the centre piece of Moscow's Ryabushinsky Mansion, now known as Gorky House since 'the father of Soviet literature' resided there for the last 5 years of his life. Originally commissioned by the wealthy industrial/banking Ryabushinsky family, the exquisite building was completed in the first years of the 20th century, now standing as a monument to aesthetic excess on the Malaya Nikitskaya ulitsa (ie street, fool) in an otherwise unremarkable part of the sprawling, polluted city.

The photos below attest to the strangely gloomy atmosphere pervading the building, its exotic interiors, while obviously stunning, evoked a peculiar feeling of claustrophobia. Presumably reaching a terrifying climax for the mansion's residents with the great unwashed baying for bourgeois blood around 1917. The architects left no detail untouched, no cornice unadorned and the mansion stands as a beautiful example of the relatively short but impressive period of art nouveau influenced architecture and interior design in Russia.

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