Museum the estate of Sukachevs

Irkutsk
Irkutsk

The Sukachevs estate was built in the period 1882 - 1888 and until the departure of its owners was one of the cultural and spiritual centers of Irkutsk and Lake Baikal, a place of attraction for intelligent people, creative natures: scientists, writers and artists, musicians and artists, the center for the formation of a unique Siberian picture galleries and charity events. The date of foundation of the unique Irkutsk estate can be considered 1882, this date is indicated above the entrance of the central building of the estate.
During the superstructure of the main house of the estate on the second floor, some adjustments were made to the arrangement of the building. So, the main entrance from the side of Leninsky Street was removed, but two side ones appeared. In 1884, the northeastern corner of the building takes on a step-like shape due to small outbuildings. Changes in the appearance of the building, most likely, were associated with the planning of the park, the construction of small architectural forms and viewing platforms. The facade of the log under the four-pitched roof of the house, as well as other buildings, is richly decorated with decorative elements that amaze with their bizarre, fantastic shape. Piers, cornice belts, brackets, pediment fillings testify to the rich imagination and ingenuity of Siberian masters in the interpretation of complex ornaments. Communication with local peoples and the development of economic and cultural ties across Lake Baikal and the island of Olkhon with China and Mongolia did not pass without a trace for the formation of the artistic taste of Siberian architects and the development of decorative art of Russian Siberian architecture. The figures of dragons, the stylized image of flowers, the complex completion of the eaves boards with a bizarre fantastic silhouette - all resemble ornamental forms of the East. The main house is crowned with a three-armed anchor entwined with a rope - the dominant of the entire estate, its highest point. Changes in the appearance of the main two-story manor house continued even later: the owners took care of arranging its interiors, and of fitness for warm family evenings and for a very valuable and expensive art gallery, which became part of their life, a subject of constant care and pride. Evenings were one of the most fulfilled hours of family life and created a special atmosphere of deep unity and mutual understanding. A complex architectural and artistic solution to the interior of the main house, decorative interiors using plaster rods and friezes in the form of geometric ornaments, stucco shades for lamps and chandeliers - everything was done with that sense of proportion and sophistication, which testified to the good artistic taste of the owners. A staircase with a fence made of elegant balusters led to the second floor. The richly decorated living room, the master’s office, library and rooms housed a grand piano, high mirrors set in antique frames with carved “crowns”, tables, squares, bureaus, chairs, armchairs and sofas trimmed with leather and morocco encrusted with bronze, rare Chinese screens and vases, excellent bronze candelabra and exquisite porcelain of Russian and European firms. All the rooms of the house were filled with paintings - this was the collection of Russian painting of the 19th century by Lake Baikal, Olkhon Island, which has developed over three decades. There were no living rooms intended for the personal life of the family. Most likely, the sukachevs' apartments were located in a wooden house, standing on the corner of Laninsky and 1st Jerusalem streets, subsequently “safely” demolished. The last most significant construction, deployed at the main house, dates back to 1888 - the construction of a diagonal stone annex with a winter garden and billiards room, which was a natural extension of the covered veranda. Both the veranda and the garden were filled with plants and throughout the year - light pouring from the high window openings. A deep basement with a cast-iron stove, brought from St. Petersburg to Lake Baikal and providing the house with heat up to the 80s of the last century, served to heat the annex and the whole house. The interior of the winter garden and the billiard room was distinguished by great taste and elegance: a coffered ceiling decorated with profiled belts and voluminous carved elements, semicircular windows with complex curved division of transoms, and paneled doors with profiled cash created an artistically finished and impeccable space in terms of proportionality of elements. To the right and left of the exit to the park were tall white stoves with profiled cornices. The wooden greenhouse, built in the south-eastern part of the estate, pleasantly surprised guests with rare plants, including those growing in Lake Baikal. By 1884, the Sukachevs acquired a significant part of the Kokuev grove, and by 1888 completed the development of its territory.

By this time, the formation of the entire vast manor complex, which far surpassed the city manor buildings of old Irkutsk in terms of territory and the sophistication of decorative decoration, had ended. It included: the main two-story house with a diagonal annex for the winter garden and a billiard room, a two-story house for servants with an openwork openwork gallery on three sides of the second floor, a one-story guest house, services with a stable, a school for girls, barns, a greenhouse, a glacier, a horse carriage , the pavilion "Gorka" and a large luxurious park with small architectural forms and a grotto. The estate area was compact, with the exception of a school for girls from poor families, located at the other end of the park and facing 1st Jerusalem Street with a central facade and a large covered porch. Under the four-year school for girls, the house of Lieutenant A. Pavlinov was adapted, completed with another wing and decorated with a frieze cut with thread, made with great fiction and grace. Manor buildings - horse carriage for winter and summer crews, services with a stable were typical for Irkutsk, Lake Baikal. The situation was different with the wing for the servant and the central house with an art gallery. Most likely, the projects for them were individual in nature, therefore, even with the most thorough research, they did not find analogues. So this building on Lake Baikal can rightfully be considered absolutely unique. Gradually, arches, a grotto and arbors are rebuilt in the park. The central pavilion - a two-story “pavilion-slide”, or “Gorka pavilion” - in winter turned into a slide for skiing due to the ramp attached to its second floor. The estate of V.P. Sukachev was a vivid example of improving architectural and construction techniques, introducing new decorative elements that had taken root favorably in Irkutsk, on Lake Baikal, on Olkhon Island in the last third of the nineteenth century. It has no analogues not only in the Irkutsk region, but also throughout Siberia. The architectural and stylistic orientation of the external appearance of all the buildings of the manor complex has common elements and artistic motifs in the decorative design of the facades. The organic interweaving of architectural and artistic techniques characteristic of Siberian architecture, the presence of oriental motifs in the decor elements of the estate houses create a unique harmony of style, which can be defined as “modern” in wooden architecture. A closer examination of the Sukachev estate allows you to find details that are not typical of Irkutsk, but resembling cozy, small Little Russian estates with houses decorated with light verandas and encircling carved wooden galleries around the second floor.

But back to the Irkutsk estate. It was surrounded by the beautiful and most significant garden and park ensemble in Irkutsk, which basically retained the original layout today, carried out according to the plans of its creators. Along the axis of the winter garden of the central building was laid “coastal” alley of the park, crossing the green massif of the Kokuyevskaya grove diagonally in a north-westerly direction. In the summer, because of the lush vegetation, the alley was not visible and therefore seemed endless. The significant green massif, from the main alley to 1st Jerusalem Street, remained a natural green zone with a mixed forest of birches, various shrubs and field plants and did not undergo any regular cladding. The “Birch Alley” led to the “arbor-hill” - the main dominant of the park - and ended with the Grotto with a cast-iron arbor and a viewing platform. Not far from the "arbor-slide" was a spruce planted, which over the years turned into a luxurious lush Baikal tree, which delivered a lot of pleasures to the inhabitants of the estate and its guests on New Year's Eve. The part of the park adjacent to Laninskaya Street - the central one for this part of Irkutsk - was carefully thought out and planned. A few more alleys were laid in the park area. The “main” avenue, surrounded on both sides by a row of tall larch trees, went to Laninskaya through the main entrance to the estate and connected all the residential and farm buildings to the city. In the northeastern direction to the Lansky there was a “boundary” or “mixed” alley. The boundary, preserved from the time when the estate belonged to different owners, contributed to its appearance. The border was expanded and turned into an alley connecting the central part of the “birch alley” with a viewing platform from which an overview of the city suburbs with ancient monasteries and gradually developed forests was opened. A shady “leafy” alley overlooked Assumption Square (now the Decembrists Square) with the Assumption Church and theological seminary and connected the estate complex with it. Winding paths and paths pierced the park in all directions and created a thin pedestrian network of the entire complex. The ecological and natural-geographical composition of the park flora was extensive: plants characteristic of drier habitats coexisted with species of humid and temperate zones. Plants typical of local gardens and parks were adjacent to those rare for Lake Baikal that had not previously grown in these parts: honey linden trees, shade-tolerant elms, maples, Ussuri pear, balsam poplar, caragana and Hungarian lilac. Larch, spruce, pine, cedar, poplar, birch reached a height of twenty to twenty-five meters and with their lush crowns formed a tall green tent over the vast expanse of the garden.

The lower rows of elm, linden, mountain ash, apple and pear, maple and bird cherry trees created charming corners with a shadow saving for hot days. An excellent addition to the richness of the park’s shapes and colors were beautiful decorative bushes of yellow acacia, Hungarian lilac, cotoneaster, blood-red hawthorn, sparkling rose, honeysuckle, Ussuri pear, which made an enchanting impression with their decorativeness and continuous multi-color throughout the year. The park was dazzlingly beautiful at all times of the year. The decorative vegetation of the regular part of the park, the lucid layout of the alleys with winding paths and architectural forms suddenly emerging from the greenery of the garden, openwork arches, arbors, artificial slides and picturesque grottoes - all resembled an “alpine park” and was a real work of art. In compositional terms, the regular part of the park was light, solid and comfortable, and despite the dense crowns of evergreen conifers, the park was filled with light. Of particular value were the flowers. Compositions of flowers were magnificent and gave others great esthetic pleasure. Roses, tulips, asters, violets, delphiniums, medunits, primroses, watersheds, anemones, lumbago, goldenrod created an atmosphere of festive multicolor and exciting aromas. The grassy flora of the park was unusually rich and contained many medicinal plants. Planting vegetables was carried out in a private garden. In the garden-park zone, vegetables sometimes coexisted with the flowers and the decorativeness of their forms and the unusual use complemented the overall enthusiastic impression of the park. Due to the illness of Nadezhda Vladimirovna Sukachev in January 1898, he will submit a letter of resignation, and the family leaves Irkutsk. Rare arrivals in Irkutsk did not make a change in the estate: the servants who remained in the estate continued to measure their responsibilities ¬ to maintain houses and a garden, serving the guests of the estate, living quarters, probably due to the difficult financial circumstances of the owner, constantly gave up in rent. Until 1905, Nikolai Ivanovich Glushkov was the trustee of Sukachev in the management of the estate and the guest of the estate. In subsequent years, this mission was entrusted to Vladimir Boleslavovich Shostakovich. Until 1920, the manor and its main house were a corner of the past century, untouched by time and people, filled with paintings, furniture, sculpture, antique dishes and many things that were chain to its owners.
In 1920, on behalf of Nadezhda Vladimirovna, Shostakovich transferred all the estate property to the new Soviet authorities in the person of representatives of the Irkutsk provincial department of public education. After the municipalization of the estate in 1920, the Irkutsk schools-communes “New Life”, “Children's Home”, “Kindergarten”, with allocation of small plots of land, which were not affected by “generous” financing for household needs, were placed in it. This saved the house from ruin, demolition or capital alterations. The buildings remained the same layout, stucco ceilings and walls, doors and bronze fittings for doors and windows, stoves and decorative patterns of facades. The park has been used for decades as an urban garden called Pervomaisky. There was a menagerie, a dance floor, various attractions, billiards and the famous carousel in it.

The green untidy zone of the park changed its appearance: some types of trees grew old, lanes and paths were pulled by greenery and grass, vegetation went wild, turning the once arranged garden with love into dense thickets. However, the species composition of tree plantations has not changed much since 1888, only the ratio of species has changed. As before, cedars, larch, birch, maple, poplar grow in the park. The “relict” plantings of trees and shrubs made by the Sukachevs and the pedestrian links laid by them have been preserved. In 1987, a unique estate complex with an extensive ancient park became part of the Irkutsk Art Museum, bearing the name of its founder - Vladimir Platonovich Sukachev. The museum inherited the main house, outbuildings, horse carriage, services with a stable, a glacier and a school for girls. Unlucky small architectural forms of the park and barns lost to our days. The estate complex was given the status of a monument of federal significance. Long-term field, architectural studies, engineering and technology, historical and archival, dendrological and biological surveys conducted by a large team of authors recreated the picture of the formation of the architectural and park ensemble. The plans of buildings and the park, the memories of contemporaries, photographs of the green areas of the estate and the interiors of the houses, taken by the owners in the 1890s and survived thanks to their descendants, have been preserved. As a result of extensive research over many years, the master plan of the estate was created, projects for the restoration of architectural monuments and a park area appeared, which allowed restoration work to begin in 1989, and a decade later - to expand memorial exhibitions to receive visitors in the main estate house, outbuildings and services with a stable. A completely complete restoration of the estate complex is impossible. During the twentieth century, in connection with the seizure of part of the land for construction, its territory was somewhat reduced, its environment was also changed, the negative impact of external adverse factors of modern urban infrastructure increased. Nowadays, the estate is located at the intersection of several major urban pedestrian and transport highways with social facilities concentrated on them and dense residential buildings. Nowadays, the memorial estate has become a national treasure, a special value of Irkutsk, Lake Baikal, the chronicle of the past is carefully preserved in the estate - memories of a bygone era and its contemporaries, who perfectly mastered the greatest art of communication with other generations and other times.

Today, the estate represents genuine material evidence characterizing the achievements of Siberian architecture in the field of architectural ensemble and landscape gardening art of the 19th century on Lake Baikal, the enduring value of bygone times, the spiritual condition and aesthetic needs of long-gone generations.