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G.E. Broido’s apartment building
There are a lot of buildings in the capital that can astonish Muscovites and visitors with its architecture and sculpture. One of such buildings is the Guest house on Plotnikov Lane, 4/5, which evokes a keen interest by its indecent scenes in bas-relief.
The building was constructed in 1907 for Broido G.E. under the project of the famous architect and the master of Modern period Nikolai Ivanovich Zherikhov. Stucco panels along the facades, which he used very often, were the favorite motif of the architect. But the building on Plotnikov Lane is one the most unusual construction of the architect.
Friezes with dozens of sculptures and nude scenes are of the most interest. It is presumed that the sculptor of this creation was L.S. Sinaev-Bernstein. The frieze depicts such famous Russian writers as Gogol N.V., Pushkin A.S. and Tolstoy L.N. with his muses. It is recognized, that this was the first living picture of Tolstoy L.N. The main entrance of the building was topped with stoned mask bas-relief, which has recently been destroyed.
The personality of the sculptor is not the only issue that concerns Moscow historians nowadays. They are more concerned about the aim of the master portraying classic authors kissing and hugging each other.
It is believed, that before the Revolution the building used to be a whore-house, and the writers visited it very frequently. However, there is another opinion, which seems more likely to be true, that it was the work of the famous expert on Moscow city Sergei Romanuk. The frieze was ordered to Sinaev-Bernstein for the Museum of the Elegant Arts on Volokhonka. Initially, the frieze reflected a parade of around 50 figures including writers, artists and scientists from different countries heading for Apollo who handed out chaplets of glory. However, the customer rejected the composition of the frieze stating that it was rather indecent, so somehow the part of figures got to the Guest House on Plotnikov Lane.
This unique building has no analogues in Moscow, and it is an object of cultural significance. Today the stoned sculptures are in a very bad condition – some of them are faceless, and others are completely destroyed. And, it is still unknown when the restoration works will start…
A.A.Lazarik-Al Shanyavsky’s apartment building4 Arbat street
House number 4 is located near the beginning of Arbat street. Chambers of XVIII century are at the core of the building. Chambers were built in the new three-storey building in the first third of the XIX century. The new building had a modest façade in late classicism style.