Oil on canvas «The Abandoned Estate»

Yulia Mamontova
«The Abandoned Estate»
Oil on canvas
30” х 42”


In 2019, I visited the Golitsyns’ estate in the village of Petrovo-Dalneye near Moscow (Russia). The sparse spring sun of our latitudes sparsely lit the once majestic interiors. Its rays broke through the cracks between the boards, which hammered the windows when all the glasses in the frames were broken. And for more than a hundred years, the sun’s rays played in luxurious curtains, reflected from the frames of portraits, gave the shine of polished furniture. After the revolution, the interior of the manor was not preserved, as the state bodies of monument protection were not yet created in the country, and the existing museums were closed. For a long time there was a children’s colony in the manor building, then a sanatorium. Perhaps, the piano has been standing here since then. But now the manor has been abandoned again. With the help of restrained colors, without any bright contrasts, I tried to convey the colors of the interiors, muted and hidden under a layer of dust. When choosing the technique, I turned to the heritage of the artists of Russian Impressionism and the “northern school”. Dust is a symbol of oblivion, of needlessness, it absorbs and dissolves the once clear, strict and beautiful outlines of these rooms. The enfilades of the rooms, once glowing from the inside with the luxury of furniture and decor, dazzling the servants and guests of the estate. The descendants turned the richly decorated interiors into a row of dusty grey halls, cold and uncomfortable, from which they removed all the items that could be carried away – the silent witnesses of the era. This room was a small dining room, where princes Golitsyna, their relatives, colleagues and friends – the elite of the Russian Empire – once gathered at the table, and now there is a cold wind, every gust of which carries away parts of the life of this once magnificent house.