главная  English version museum@nabokovmuseum.org

The Green Drawing Room

According to Vladimir Nabokov, the walls of the drawing room on the first floor were upholstered with green silk. The silk has not survived, but since the opening of the museum the walls of the former living room have always been painted different shades of green. In 2002 the walls were decorated by a well-known American artist Barbara Bloom who copied the Nabokov’s autographs and drawings from his manuscripts on the walls.

The history of the ceiling is still more exciting. According to Nabokov, the ceiling was painted with pale green clouds. However, after a renovation of the room in the Soviet time the ceiling was whitewashed, and for many years the green clouds remained only in Nabokov’s text. A trial clearing of the ceiling in the year 2000 showed that the clouds were still there and  in 2008 the Faculty of Philology and Arts began a  restoration of the ceiling. Already the first discoveries have been made – the details of the painting are revealed now. Apparently, the ceiling of the living room was beautifully decorated with painting, where, apart from clouds, one can discern swallows and garlands of leaves. For Nabokov readers the swallow (the swift) is especially interesting since the swallow is a frequent image in his texts, particularly in the Russian poetry. We could remember, for example, a poem  "The Swift", which Nabokov chose for reading in the 1964 documentary.

The next stage of the restoration of the drawing room is taking down the  partition installed in the Soviet time and returning to the initial volume of the room. This will allow to fully restore the suite layout of the first floor – dining room, drawing room, library room.




«Однажды мы под вечер оба
стояли на старом мосту.
Скажи мне, спросил я,
до гроба
запомнишь –
вон ласточку ту?

И ты отвечала: еще бы!
И как мы
заплакали оба,
как вскрикнула жизнь на лету...

До завтра, навеки, до гроба, –
однажды, на старом мосту...».