Shechtel did not receive a complete architectural education (or any other), however, it did not prevent him from becoming an academician of architecture for his work on the Russian pavilion at an exhibition in Glasgow in 1901. But all this happened only after many years of work as an artist and theatrical designer, after his first, but quickly famous, projects of country houses and interiors. And even after the world-famous mansions of Zinaida Morozova and Stepan Ryabushinsky. During his prime 10-15 years at the turn of the century Shekhtel built many houses in Moscow. Many have survived: his own two houses, mansions of Derozhinskaya and Kuznetsov, a few tenement houses, printing houses of Levenson and Morning Russia newspapers of Ryabushinsky, trading houses of Kuznetsov and Arshinov, “Boyarsky yard" on Staraya Square. It is a pity that only Stepan Ryabushinsky's mansion is accessible to us among all these masterpieces, it is the housing of the Gorky Museum now. This house can be considered a reference building for the Art Nouveau style. It satisfies completely the main idea of Art Nouveau expressed by Shekhtel himself: “The relationship between architecture, painting and sculpture in their alliance must bring the viewer into that mood which corresponds to the purpose of the building.” Two other famous creations of architect Shekhtel remain accessible to the public: the Moscow Art Theater and the Yaroslavsky Railway Station. The theater owes Shekhtel not only the interior and facade design, but also its emblem: the former theater artist gave his beloved theater a seagull atop the curtain.
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