The State Memorial and Natural Preserve "Museum-estate of Leo Tolstoy "Yasnaya Polyana"
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Exhibition: With a Gun and a Lyre. Hunting and Russian Literature


On August 22, 2017 the exhibition With a Gun and a Lyre. Hunting and Russian Literature opened at the State A.S. Pushkin Museum (Moscow). This exhibition project focuses on the important role of hunting in the lives of Russian authors and poets and demonstrates its reflection in their literary works. Twenty-three Russian museums and archives are participating in the exhibiton. It refers to such literary figures as Sumarokov, Derzhavin, Pushkin, Nekrasov, Turgenev, Ostrovsky, Leskov, Chekhov, Blok, Prishvin, Kazakov, Vampilov, and many others. Leo Tolstoy is also among them. Photos from the exhibition opening can be seen HERE >>>

Tolstoy devoted over 30 years of his life to hunting. He became interested in it at a very young age. For many years, hunting was for him not only a favourite and fascinating occupation, but also a good break from his intense intellectual work, and a source of inspiration. Many of his literary works contain vivid descriptions of hunting. Among them are Childhood, Anna Karenina, and War and Peace: The wolf paused, turned its heavy forehead toward the dogs awkwardly, like a man suffering from the quinsy, and, still slightly swaying from side to side, gave a couple of leaps and with a swish of its tail disappeared into the skirt of the wood. At the same instant, with a cry like a wail, first one hound, then another, and then another, sprang helter-skelter from the wood opposite and the whole pack rushed across the field toward the very spot where the wolf had disappeared. (War and Peace)

The exhibition shows a number of hunting-related objects from the collection of the Yasnaya Polyana Museum, including illustrations to Leo Tolstoy‘s works by well-known artists (E.I. Kumankov, O.G. Vereisky, N.A. Rashchektaev, K.G. Kashcheev, and others).

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