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Shchepkin and Gogol. Two Geniuses

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Tour 'The Life and Art of Mikhail Shchepkin.
Birth of a Free Man'

Mikhail Shchepkin was a key figure in the history of Russian art performance, a great actor, theatrical innovator, and Russian citizen. He was a liberated man, an intellectual reflecting on the fate of his country and the part of a theatre and actor in educating younger generations. Due to the innovations of Shchepkin, Maly Theatre turned into an educational and political venue. The actor managed to set his family free from serfdom, having himself become the head of a theatre in Moscow. He was the author of multiple contemporary reincarnations of some works by the writers of the Golden Era of Russian literature, including Pushkin, Griboyedov, Gogol, Turgenev, etc. The tour is led by Natalya Pivovarova, a curator of Shchepkin's Museum House with an art history PhD.


Shchepkin and Gogol. Two Geniuses

Shchepkin and Gogol had a lifelong friendship. It is no exaggeration to say that the great Shchepkin was "Gogol's actor". At the same time, there were striking differences between the two. Gogol was an argumentative mystic, quick to take offence, while Shchepkin was an optimistic and cheerful family man. His house was a true sanctuary that was open for anyone in need, even if all they needed was food and shelter. However, these two artistic personalities were united by the deep conviction that a person cannot be changed by sudden paradigm shifts. Rather, all people should constantly be pursuing the path of moral self-perfection. They believed that humans are free beings. However, to them, freedom was not a free-for-all, but instead a responsibility for every step and action, for oneself, one's family, and one's country.

This video has subtitles in Russian and English. Use the "Subtitles" function on YouTube.


Shchepkin. Adulthood. Every Facet of Talent

When Shchepkin came to Moscow, he quickly surrounded himself with a wide social circle, including noble clerics, writers, and intellectuals. Shchepkin was a good listener who showed respect for every voice and every opinion.
He was more than an actor; he was a public leader. For example, in 1853 he was sent to London to talk to Gertsen, dreaming of a revolution in Russia.


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Central A.A. Bakhrushin Museum House The Theatre Museum was founded in 1894 by the merchant, philanthropist, and art collector Alexey Bakhrushin. Its unique collection houses over 1,5 million items and depicts the history of Russian theatre from its origin to the modern-day. The museum's exhibition halls serve as a venue for workshops, round tables, conferences, lectures, and meetings with prominent members of the theatre community.

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