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Restoration of the Green Drawing Room: History.

After the October revolution the Nabokov house was rented out to different institutions. The Green Room underwent alterations. The enfilade principle of room arrangement was disestablished for the purposes of convenient use. A partition was built in the Green Room, dividing the room into two uneven sections. Full-scale investigations showed that the plafond structure was also unevenly divided in two by the partition. The partition broke the rapport order of the plaster cornice. The division of the Green Room into two uneven parts was caused by the location of the window apertures. One of the  rooms has two window apertures and the other has one. The removal of many layers of chalk whitewash off the molded coating revealed the true nature of its coloring with gold highlighting of the relief features. The coloring and the highlights were preserved almost fully. The molded coating of the partition does not reveal any traces of coloring, which signifies its late origin. The utterly simplified door assembly in the partition differs vastly from the complex door assemblies of the first floor. The originally uniform interior of the Green Room which was part of the first floor enfilade after construction of the partition is used as two separate rooms interconnected via the door aperture. Currently, the second part of the Green Room displays continuation of artwork on the plafond at the spots where the paint layers are loosened.

The certain date of construction of the temporary partition has not been established yet.

Data sources:

  1. Rodovyie Gnyozda: K stoletiju so dnia rozhdeniya V.V. Nabokova (“Ancestral Estates: to one hundred years since the birth of V.V. Nabokov”), collected works, science editor V.P. Stark – Saint-Petersburg: Dorn, 1999
  2. L.I. Broitman, E.I. Krasnova. Bolshaya Morskaya Ulitsa (“The Bolshaya Morskaya street”) – Moscow, Centrpoligraf CJSC, 2005
  3. B. Kirikov. Arkhitektura Peterburgskogo Moderna. Osobnyaki i Dokhodnye Doma (“Architecture of the Petersburg Modern. Mansions and Commercial Apartment Buildings”). – Saint-Petersburg: Publishing House “Zhurnal “Neva””, 2003

In 2008, due to the emergency condition of the painted plafond on the Green Room ceiling covered by layers of whitewash, it was decided to restore the plafond. In 2009, in accordance with the assignment by the Committee on State Control, Use and Protection of Historical and Cultural Landmarks, the primary priority works on clearing and reinforcement of the painted plafond were carried out. Layers of whitewash and distemper paint were removed off the painted plafond. The surviving parts containing auteur paintings were cleaned from the latest layers of plastering.

After the cleaning the condition of authentic paintings was established; it constituted 40% of the total plafond area.

Now we can see the plafond painting that has been revealed for the first time.