Couches from the living room of Aleksey S.Khomyakov
The furniture collection of the Historical Museum is one of the largest in the country and it is especially exciting because it represents furniture of various social strata of Russia. The Historical Museum, for example, exhibits in the section of history and culture of the XIXth century a couch. Its body is made of three settees with soft rectangular pillows, upholstered in green reps.
This couch was made in 1840s at the individual order and was designed to almost completely fill the room. In center this room would be a small table with a table lamp under a green lampshade. This room served as a sofa room, designed to comfort the owner and his guests.
This house with the small estate was located in Moscow on Dog’s Square near Arbat. It belonged to Alexey Stepanovich Khomyakov, a famous poet and Slavophile. The host was famous for his hospitality. His house was often visited by Aksakov, Herzen, Gogol, Granovsky, Tolstoy, Chaadaev, Yasykov and many other distinguished people. Naturally part of the time they spent in the sofa room, where they discussed philosophical research, literary novelties and different aspects of life. Comfortable settee with soft pillows was very inviting for such leisurely slow moving conversations everything was fit for such pastime. That’s why in the Khomyakov family the room was called “the talking shop”.
After the Revolution and passing away of Alexei Stepanovich in 1919, his house became a Museum. It was called “The Household Museum of 1840s” and kept the atmosphere of the house of Khomyakov. All things remained in their places in accordance with the once established order. In 1929 the Museum was closed and its exhibits were transferred to the Historical Museum. The couch came in the collection of furniture of the Historical Museum, where it became known as “the talking room” after the name of the room where it was formerly located.
In late 1980s the “talking room” was restored and placed in the exposition. Scientific restoration made at the Museum allowed to preserve this unique monument the way it existed in the distant 1840s. To date, this subject should be considered not only a monument of Russian furniture art, but also a memorial associated with the names of the great figures of Russian culture.