Picks of the Week

Originally published in The Moscow Times on December 17, 1999

Why not make a last-minute dash to the countryside before you get caught up in holiday celebrations? This artistic treat is worth the trek f the Abramtsevo Real Estate Museum.

The unassuming little wooden house on the Abramtsevo estate, 70 kilometers northeast of Moscow, houses works by prominent painters of the 19th century, such as Ilya Repin, Valentin Serov and Viktor Vasnezov. The mere thought that these artists actually spent time here, worked and chatted with their friends here, and that Serov painted his famous painting "Girl with Peaches" in one of the Abramtsevo house's rooms is enough to send one into a nostalgic reverie.

And if, one day, on a visit to the Tretyakov Gallery, you chance upon Mikhail Nesterov's famous painting "Young Sergy," think of Abramtsevo, for "Sergy" too was created within the small estate's borders.

Abramtsevo became the center of Russia's cultural life around 1843 when writer Sergei Aksakov and, later, arts patron Savva Mamontov Abramtsevo turned it into a colony for artists and writers.

Mamontov had a lot on his plate…

Read the full text at The Moscow Times.