Vladimir Nabokov Museum
Vladimir Nabokov (1899–1977), the Russian-American author of Lolita, Pale Fire, Luzhin Defence, and other popular novels was born in this house on April 10, 1899, living here until his family’s departure for the Crimea (and later England) in 1917.
Everything you see is a recreation, the premises having been completely gutted after the Revolution.
Curators have recreated the house as it would have appeared at the turn of the century when, thanks to Nabokov’s father’s position as head of the Constitutional Democratic Party and the St Petersburg Literary Fund, it was visited by luminaries including opera singer Fyodor Shalyapin, artist Alexander Benois and H.G. Wells.
In his autobiographical novel, The Other Shores, Nabokov talks at length about the house of his childhood and youth.. The former Nabokov residence appears festive with its ground floor faced with red sandstone and the upper storeys, with grey sandstone. At a closer look, the red sandstone appears to contain not only grains of quartz that owes its red colour to films of hematite, but also thin flakes of sericite, i.e. pink-colored mica. The sandstone slabs feature both smooth and rocky surfaces. The ground floor window frames are cut of red sandstone and stand out sharply against the grey background of the walls. Sandstone garlands and a majolica frieze of red tulips and light-blue lilies against a golden background embellish the top of the facade.