The State Memorial and Natural Preserve "Museum-estate of Leo Tolstoy "Yasnaya Polyana"
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The Mosaic of the Epic Exhibition in Ulyanovsk

06092017-1September 15 - November 15, 2017
I.A. Goncharov Historical and Memorial Museum and Center  
(Ulyanovsk, Goncharov St., 20)

The Mosaic of the Epic exhibition is an attempt to convey Leo Tolstoy’s amazing and long intellectual and spiritual work which resulted in such an iconic novel as War and Peace.

This epic unites the author’s and his ancestors’ life, his military experience in the Caucasus, historical materials and scholarly works he had studied, and family legends he had absorbed in his childhood.

The central block of the exhibition is the work on the novel and the events that encouraged the author to write it. It is the period of Tolstoy‘s and his family‘s life, approximately coinciding with the time of his work on the epic. And it is as though framed by the novel‘s characters who, thanks to the large number of screen versions and stage productions, drawings and prints, have been long living their own lives, independent of the author’s intentions. It is as though the author, his wife and children, and the characters of the novel are all speaking among themselves.  When the visitor joins this “conversation” too, the mosaic of the novel’s pages starts showing off to him new and brighter colors.

At the very beginning though, Tolstoy planned only one storyline to be the core of the novel; but the plot, just like a river right before flowing into the sea, began to branch into numerous streams and more and more new characters appeared, men and women, young and old, aristocrats and simple folks. The writer compiled a detailed list of the characters, endowed each of them with a unique personality, and gave each one a unique life. But there was one thing that united them all: they were equally dear to the author. One could say War and Peace doesn’t have a main character, unless that character is life itself.


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