Marking the 55th anniversary of Pasternak’s death RBTH offers you the virtual tour of his famous house in Peredelkino.
Initially Pasternak’s family lived in the house nearby, which was larger. But Pasternak, whose approach to life was rather ascetic, moved here in 1939. At first it was a small one storey wooden house, but then a second floor and a few extra rooms on one side of the building were added.
Pasternak’s dacha is located in Moscow region’s most preeminent village, Peredelkino. Also known as “writers’ village”, Peredelkino was founded in 1934 on the initiative of Maxim Gorky. Peredelkino was home to many Russian literary stars: Isaac Babel, Ilya Ilf and Evgeny Petrov, Bulat Okudzhava, to name just a few.
On the walls we can see his father’s paintings. Leonid Pasternak was exhibited in Tretyakovsky gallery (Moscow) and Russian Museum (St. Petersburg).
The family spent time together in this living room. The wide windows made it light and sunny.
Her first husband had been the renowned Soviet pianist Genrikh Neigauz, and she too was a talented pianist, likewise their son Svyatoslav, who enjoyed spending time here in Peredelkino. This piano is a gift to Svyatoslav from his father.
Boris Pasternak was also a great piano player; he studied at the Moscow Conservatory and traced out the career of a musician. But when he received a positive, but less rapturous than expected, review from their family friend Russian composer Alexander Skryabin, he decided not to pursue a musical career, but to indulge in literature.
He kept his illness (lung cancer) a secret from his family until he was simply unable to go upstairs to his room on the second floor. From that moment on, this little room on the first floor was his world, and he spent the last month of his life here on this couch.
This photo was taken on the day of his funeral. Soviet mass media ignored the tragic event, motivated by the policy of harassment, the unofficial motto of which was “Haven’t read [Dr. Zhivago], but condemn”.
Nevertheless, the funeral was attended by more than 2000 people. According to eye-witness accounts, the coffin was “floating” down the street — people passed it over their heads along the funeral procession until it reached Peredelkino Cemetery.
In this photo, taken by a French correspondent, we can recognize two sons of Pasternak — Evgeniy and Leonid, and his stepson Svyatoslav Neigauz. On the left we can also see Elena Bonner, the wife of dissident scientist and human right activist Andrey Sakharov.