Ryabushinsky Mansion: An Art Nouveau Museum

Ryabushinsky Mansion, also known as Gorky Museum, was built in 1902 in Moscow, Russia. It is an architectural landmark in the ”Moderne” style, the Russian term for Art Nouveau. The architect of the famous mansion, Fyodor Schechtel, designed the building for Stepan Ryabushinsky, a wealthy banker and an art collector.

After the Russian Revolution in 1917, the Ryabushinsky family left Russia and the Soviet government offered the house to the famed writer Maxim Gorky. After Gorky’s death, his family continued to stay in the house until 1965. Then, it became a museum dedicated to Maxim Gorky and his works.

ryabushinsky mansion

The sculptural staircase is the prominent feature of the mansion as it was designed even before the plan of the interior, it was the central element of the mansion. The staircase resembles waves of the sea. The lamp at the base of the stairs is a great example of the Art Nouveau movement, it takes the shape of a medusa or a jellyfish and gives the impression that it is floating.


The lamp that resembles a jellyfish

the staircase, ryabushinsky mansion

The red column at the top of the staircase, decorated with reptiles and flowers

the staircase, ryabushinsky mansion

The dining room

the dining room, ryabushinsky mansion

Because the Ryabunshinsky Family were members of the Old Believers sect of the Russian Orthodox Church, a condemned sect back then, Schechtel built a secret chapel for them to practice their religion inside the mansion.

the chapel, ryabushinsky mansion

The ceiling decoration in the reception room