Abramtsevo is only an hour away from Moscow along the railway
leading to the city of Yaroslavl. The landscape here is typical of
central Russia. There are thick fir forests and low hills in this
northeastern part of the Moscow region. It is cut by the small Voria
river whose banks a covered with thick bush. Here stands the small
Abramtsevo estate, that played an important role in the history
In 1843, the estate was bought by Sergei Aksakov, the author
of the well-known books
«The Family Chronicle», «The Childhood of the Grandchild Bagrov»,
and of the wonderful fairy-tale «The Red Flower».
The estate was visited by many progressive representatives of
Russian culture of the day: V. G. Belinskyi A. I. Ghertsen, N. V.
Stankevi'ch, M. A. Bakunin, T. N. Grarovskyj N. V. Gogol, I. S.
Turgeniev, M. S. Schepkin, A. V. Koltsov, T. G. Shevchenko and many
The Aksakov family was distinguished by its love of Russia,
its culture, national traits. They believed in the Russian people
and their great future. In 1859, Sergei
Aksakov died and the estate was deserted, but in eleven years it
again came to life. In 1870, it was bought by Savva Mamontov, a
leading industrialist who played an important role in promoting
Russian fine and theatrical arts.
He united the leading Russian artists of the late 19th early
20th century — I. E. Repin, V. D. Polenov, V. M. Vasnetsov, V. A.
Serov, M. A. Vrubel, K. A. Korovin, I. S. Ostroukhov, M. V. Nesterov
and others — into what was called the «Mamontov Circle». They were
united by the common desire to create a Russian national school of
art founded on national traditions and folk arts and crafts.
The artists who visited Abramtsevo lived in beautiful natural
surroundings — the dark forrcst, sun-fillce meadows, rye fields and
winding country roads. Here a number of works were painted that have
become famous. In Abramtsevo Repin, under the influence of works by
Gogol and the history of Malorossia, painted his «Tlie Zhaporozh
Cossacks», and the proximity of the Troitse-Ser-giev Monastery aided
him in gathering material for the «The Religious Procession in the
Kursk Province». He also did other paintings here.
V. M. Vasnetsov painted his «Epic
Heroes», using the Voria river valley as background. His painting «Alyonushka»
was done in the village of Akhtyrka.
A. Serov painted «Thc Girl with the Peaches» in Abramtsevo. It was
the portrait of Mamontov's daughter Vera. And M. V. Nesterov painted
is «Her-mit» and «The Apparition of the Boy Bartholomew».
Near the villa of the Aksakov family stands the studio
building constructed by the architect V. A. Gartman in the Russian
national style. It now houses the collection of folk crafts that was
gathered by the visiting artists, objects made by the Abramtsevo
craftsmen and majolika made by Vrubel.
On the opposite side of villa stands the «Bath House» built
by the architect I. P. Ropet, also in the Russian style. And a
little farther away, among the fir trees, stands a small white
chapel built in 1881—1882 by V. M. Vasnetsov. In 1883, he also built
the fairy-tale «House on Chicken Legs».
It is not accidental that a rich collection of sculpture,
paintings and architectural monuments is gathered in Abramtsevo.
Beginning with the 1840-ties realism began to predominate first in
literature and later, in 1860-tics,in the arts.
This was the time when
artists and writers were seeking the truth in life and art.The
collection of the Abramtsevo Museum now contains landscapes,
sketches, sketches of scenery and costumes for theatrical
productions and portraits.