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How did Pigit’s tenement house appear, which today houses the Museum of M.A. Bulgakov, and who lived there before and after the writer – in the article.

Bolshaya Sadovaya Street, 10 – this address is known today to all lovers of Russian literature of the twentieth century: 100 years ago, Mikhail Bulgakov settled here, in a communal apartment 50. He immortalized his first Moscow dwelling, describing it in the novel The Master and Margarita and other works. Today there is a museum named after him. However, the fact that Mikhail Afanasyevich lived here is only a part of the rich history of the Pigit house.

For wealthy residents

In the early 1900s, the well-known entrepreneur Ilya Pigit began building a tenement house on Bolshaya Sadovaya. Initially, he planned to open a tobacco factory on this site, but was unable to obtain permission. The project of the building in the Art Nouveau style was created by the architect Edmund Yuditsky. Pigit’s house – this is how this building was later called – he divided into two buildings: a five-story building with a front facade on Bolshaya Sadovaya and a four-story building overlooking the courtyard. The architect Antonin Milkov worked on the facade. The mansion was built in 1902-1903.

Soon Ilya Pigit himself settled in the house. He chose the best apartment, which consisted of 10 rooms. The windows of the hall, dining room, living room and study looked out onto a busy street. Pigit lived here until his death in 1915.

Pigit’s house was intended for wealthy tenants. Studio No. 38 was rented by Nikolai Ryabushinsky, a native of one of the most famous entrepreneurial dynasties in Moscow, a philanthropist and collector, publisher of the literary and art magazine “Golden Fleece”. It published Alexander Blok, Andrey Bely, Valery Bryusov, illustrations were done by Alexander Benois and Lev Bakst. The publication came out in 1906-1909, for the sake of it Ryabushinsky even sold shares of a cotton partnership.

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Workshops were envisaged in Pigit’s house, and, in addition to the usual residents, artists lived here from the very beginning. Pyotr Konchalovsky moved into Studio 38 in 1910. And two years later, he also rented a residential apartment 24 in the house, where he settled with his wife and two children. It was from there that the artist went to the front in 1914, and upon his return he began to work again, but in a new workshop – No. 40.

The workshop was for Konchalovsky not only a place of work, but also a source of inspiration. He often depicted her in his paintings. Among them – “In the workshop. Family Portrait “,” Model at the Stove “,” Children at the Piano “,” Still Life. Samovar “,” Self-portrait with his wife “,” Portrait of the pianist Vladimir Vladimirovich Sofronitsky at the piano. “

After 1917

In 1918, the apartment building was nationalized, and the Moscow City Council became the head of it. The building was turned into a workers’ commune. The apartments were occupied by employees of the capital’s printing houses, locksmiths, dressmakers, sellers and many others.

As before the revolution, in Soviet times, artists continued to work in Pigit’s house. For example, the famous theater artist Georgy Yakulov, who worked at that time at the Alexander Tairov’s Chamber Theater, received workshop No. 38. It was a large room with a wooden staircase leading to the mezzanine. He lived here, in apartment 8.

In Yakulov’s studio, fun almost always reigned – the artist’s wife Natalya loved guests. The capital’s poets, actors and artists came here. It was here in 1921 that Sergei Yesenin met the American dancer Isadora Duncan. Witnesses of that meeting later recalled: Isadora put her fingers into the poet’s curls and said in Russian with an accent: “Golden head”, – she kissed him, called him an angel and immediately – the devil.

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Georgy Yakulov’s neighbor was an employee of the banking house Bagdasar Vartanov, a kind and sympathetic person. His grandson Georgy recalled that countless friends of Yakulov knocked on the Vartanovs endlessly, confusing apartments. Once the patience of Bagdasar Artemyevich burst: when he saw a drunken Vladimir Mayakovsky on the threshold, he let him down the stairs.

Bulgakov’s war

In 1921, Mikhail Bulgakov came to Moscow with his first wife Tatyana Lappa. Medicine was forgotten, he arrived in the capital with a clear goal – to make a literary career. The future writer began by collaborating with Moscow newspapers, for which he wrote feuilletons.

At first, the young family lived with relatives and friends, but then the husband of one of Bulgakov’s sisters offered to take his room in communal apartment 50 in Pigit’s house – he himself was leaving the city. Kommunalka turned out to be a real hell. The neighbors – there were 16 of them – showed with all their might that new tenants were not welcome here. Mikhail and Tatiana tried to survive – they got too good a room. However, the old neighbors were also unfriendly to each other: slander, fights and scandals were common here.

“Well, they are frivolous … well, well … and mercy sometimes knocks on their hearts … ordinary people … in general, they resemble the old ones … the housing issue only ruined them,” Bulgakov would later say through Woland in his novel The Master and Margarita.

The war with the neighbors continued even after he was registered in the house as an employee of the Glavpolitprosvet. Once Bulgakov wrote in despair in his diary: “I positively do not know what to do with the bastard that inhabits this apartment.” Mikhail Afanasyevich found a way out to anger – he copied many of the heroes of his feuilletons, stories and novels entirely from his neighbors.

It was cold in the apartment, the water was running intermittently. Mikhail Afanasyevich told his sister: “The heating was stopped in March. All the bindings are moldy. ” But there was also good: here, in Pigit’s house, the writer created the “White Guard”, “The Devil’s Day”, “Fatal Eggs”.

Bulgakov left the communal apartment in 1924. A completely different story began in his life. And he remembered apartment 50 when he took up the novel The Master and Margarita. In the book, it became a “bad apartment,” where Woland stayed with his retinue. The ball of Satan, or “chamber ball”, as Bulgakov’s third wife Elena Sergeevna, who became the prototype of Margarita, was called here. Later, in 1935, Bulgakov rewrote this scene. After being among 500 guests of William Bullitt’s reception at the American Embassy, ​​he took his new impressions as a basis.

By the way, the Aquarium garden, located next to Pigit’s house, served as the prototype of the Variety theater. Today it is a small park near the Mossovet Theater and the Theater of Satire, and in the time of Bulgakov, entertainment events were held here.

Museum of M.A. Bulgakov

They began to settle communal apartments in the 1960s, and in the mid-1980s there were almost none of them left in the house. In 1983, Giprotekhmontazh, one of the departments of the USSR Ministry of Installation and Special Construction Works, moved to a former “bad apartment”. Having learned who lived here before, his employee Natalya Romanova decided to arrange Bulgakov’s exposition.

In 1990, the facade of the house was finally decorated with a memorial plaque in honor of the writer. Giprotekhmontazh left the apartment. Marietta Chudakova, who wrote the first scientific biography of Bulgakov, established a foundation named after him and made sure that the apartment was transferred to him. The former residence of Mikhail Afanasyevich, which he hated, gradually turned into an important place for his fans. Concerts, exhibitions, literary evenings were held here.

In 2000, the 60th anniversary of the novel “The Master and Margarita” was celebrated in the apartment. In 2004, the first permanent exhibition was opened – it was dedicated to the centenary of Ilya Pigit’s tenement house.

The country’s first state Museum of M.A. Bulgakov opened its doors in 2007. Today you can see memorial items here – photographs, engravings, furniture, in particular a secretaire, which the writer loved very much. Many of the things that remained in his other Moscow apartment, in Nashchokinskiy Lane, were handed over by relatives of Elena Bulgakova’s friends. Thus, it was possible to recreate Bulgakov’s cabinet.

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Since 2013, the museum has been holding Bulgakov’s festivals at the Patriarch’s Ponds. At the same time, a research department appeared. The exposition about the history of the house is located in a small room, where Natalia Romanova began her educational activities, who in 1983 discovered the significance of the apartment. Today the collection contains more than five thousand items. Museum of M.A. Bulgakov occupies the entire fourth floor of the house.

EDITOR’S NOTE: This article is a translation. Apologies should the grammar and or sentence structure not be perfect.

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