World Fair of Paris 1889

Centenary of the French Revolution

May 6, 1889 - October 31, 1889


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Russian Isba

Russian Isba at the Exhibition Expo Paris 1889

Architect(s) : Lutun

After the Russian dwelling in the collection of M. Charles Garnier, which is a specimen of a house of a certain richness, one must go and see the isba, which is only a thatched cottage in the full sense of the word, since it is thatched.

It is located not far from the Eiffel Tower and is almost hidden in the clumps of birch and weeping willows which, next to it, bathe their branches in the small lake.

The construction is very simple, since it is made of fir trunks, but it is nevertheless very picturesque.

Moreover, it is more interesting internally than externally, for it shelters a family of these sculptors who, in Troïtz, famous for its convent which is a whole town, and in the other localities with Russian pilgrimages, make with a surprising skill, which one could well call art, the small figures of saints and other small objects which are sold to the pilgrims, and which are truly very curious.

A Frenchman established in Moscow, M. Lutun, had the idea of exhibiting in the Champ de Mars a collection of these objects of a somewhat crude art perhaps, but of a charming naivety, and it is for this reason that he had the Russian house built, which is reproduced in our drawing, and in which they are arranged, or rather disturbed, in a very picturesque disorder.

In addition to two young girls in national costume who do the honours of the isba, we see a muzhik, also in Muscovite costume, who, with a simple penknife, carves in wood small bas-reliefs of an astonishing finesse of work.

©Livre d'Or de l'Exposition - Justin Carmer.