Dmitry Venevitinov’s Memorial Estate

Department of culture
Voronezh Regional Literature Museum named after I.S. Nikitin
Dmitry Venevitinov’s Memorial Estate
Muzei Venediktov

We are pleased to invite you to a unique place — the only remaining manor of the nobility in the Voronezh region located on the left bank of the Don River.
D.V. Venevitinov‘s memorial estate can be called the little jewel of the Voronezh region. Many generations of the Venevitinovs — the famous noble family whose name was one of the oldest in Voronezh — spent their life here. It has its roots in the days of the medieval fortress of Voronezh, in people who guarded its frontiers.

The Memorial Estate is the only museum in Russia dedicated to the poet, philosopher and critic of the 19th century — to Dmitry Vladimirovich Venevitinov. The building of the manor has a literary exposition which tells the story of a noble Russian estate culture of the 18th and 19th centuries, the life and work of the poet, and other outstanding people. The museum has some portraits depicting the family members, famous people, copies of manuscripts and numerous archival documents, including those from the Venevitinovs‘ fund.

Nowadays, the museum opened doors again after extensive renovation which began in 2010. The updated exposure of the manor recreates the unique atmosphere of noble home and involves visitors into the time when the fortress of Voronezh was founded and in the age of Peter the Great, and then, into the world Of romance and high poetry of the 19th century.

On the ground floor you can find the history of the estate represented in photographs and genuine objects. There is the layout of the estate dated to the 18th century which gives the chance to have a virtual walk across the whole manor grounds. In addition, there you can see the open brickwork of the masonry vaults and arches dated to the 18th century which were elaborately restored in 201 1.

Plan of the l-st floor.

The exposition of Venevitinov’s estate is on the 1st and 2nd floors of the main manor house. ln addition to expositions on «Culture of Russian manor» the following topics are widely presented as well: «Venevitinovs‘ Living in Voronezh Region», «Life and work of the poet, philosopher Venevitinov», «Voronezh shipwork», «History of Russian literary and musical social room», «History of Venevitinovs‘ estate Novozhivotinnoe“, «Life of Venevitinov, Russian historian, archeographer and public character».

The interiors of the halls put visitors in the atmosphere of the 18 th and 19 th centuries. Antique furniture, rare books, manuscripts by Venevitinov, family portraits — all they help to feel the past.

Venevitinov’s manor

Venevitinov‘s manor was founded in the 17th and 18th centuries on the left bank of the Don River. It was a decoration of surroundings at all times. Earl P.S. Sheremetyev visited the manor in l9ll. «… From here one can see Novozhivotinnoe village located on the bank of the Don together with an old Manor…The white stone gate leads into a wide courtyard surrounded by a fence with a green circle in the middle. There is a two-storied white house made of stone that was rebuilt a few times. The ground floor is especially interesting…In front there is a covered veranda with cane furniture…On both sides of the house there is a shaded spacious garden where one can get through the two gates with white stone columns. The old maples, oaks, and elms provide a lot of shadow. That part of the garden that overlooks the river is especially beautiful.“

That part of the garden that overlooks the river is especially beautiful.

  1. A brick with a stamp of the owner of a brick factory
  2. Pharmaceutical bottles dated to the XIX century and found during excavations on the estate territory
  3. Fragment of ceramic tile from the fireplace in the main manor, the XIX century
  4. The nails from the walls of the manor house, the 18th and 19th centuries
  5. The oil-lamp, Russia, the 19the century

The Venevitinovs in the Voronezh region

The Venevitinovs are one of the famous Russian noble families. The history of this family is closely related to the key events of the Voronezh region. In the late l6th and early 17th centuries, after foundation of the Voronezh fortress a Cossack chieftain Terentii (Terekh) came to do his service from the Veneva fortress. So, the surname “Venevitinov» became one ofthe indigenous names in Voronezh region. In commemoration of the service the Venevitinovs gave to their Fatherland and Voronezh their noble emblem contains the military attributes — a flying silver arrow and three cannon balls.

In the late 17th and early 18th centuries Peter I deployed construction of Russian Navy in Voronezh and its surrounding. The Venevitinovs, who previously had some experience in the organization of shipbuilding, became companions of the king and performed other administrative duties. Anton Lavrentievich Venevitinov (I655 — 1717), the owner of Starozhivotinnoe and the founder of the village and manor Novozhivotinnoe, became Peter’s right-hand man. In the I696-I697 he was appointed by Peter I as a head of the largest Admiralty company (association for the construction of ships at public expense).

In the manor in Novozhivotinnoe there was a legendary wooden house until the mid-l9th century where Faddey Antonovich Venevitinov, a landowner and one of the first manufacturers of wool in Voronezh, received Tsar Peter I.

Fragment of the exposition dedicated to the appearance of the Venevitinovs in the Voronezh fortress
Fragment of the exposition dedicated to the appearance of the Venevitinovs in the Voronezh fortress

The portrait of Peter I by E. M. Kravtsov

  1. The portrait of Peter I by E. M. Kravtsov (a copy from the original by an unknown artist, the 18th century)
  2. Documents from Peter I for Anton Lavrentievich Venevitinov
  3. Battleship model
  4. Vaults on the 1-st floor of the manor, the 18th century

Plan of the 2-st floor

The theme of the exposition on the second floor is the life and work of Dmitry Venevitinov. One can trace the living of the poet walking through the halls of the front floor. From the hall «Family History“ dedicated to some generations of the Venevitinovs (from people of Catherine‘s era to modern descendants) visitors enters the «Childhood» hall which represents the period in the life of the family associated with its arrangement in Moscow, the birth of Dmitry Venevitinov, his brothers and sisters, as well as years of maturation and personal formation of the poet.

The exposition “Social Life» tells us about Moscow and St. Petersburg period of life, the beautiful youth and the poet’s good time (friendly meetings, walks in the country, dances, fancy dress parties and, of course, the theatre). The next hall is dedicated to love lyrics and his muse — Zinaida Volkonskaya (an extraordinary woman, the mistress of one of the most brilliant literary salons in Moscow), and to a sad legend about a ring that she presented and which is now kept in the State Literary Museum in Moscow. The manor contains its holographic image. From «Love Lyrics» we find ourselves in a room showing the period of the poet’s life associated with literary and philosophical society «Love of Wisdom» which was organized in Moscow in I823.

Peasant Culture

The exposition is devoted to peasant culture which has always been an integral part of any estate. A Russian nobleman lived in close relationships with peasants, especially with servants. The Venevitinovs cared about the well-being of their peasants. They encouraged development of folk craft and arts. On Ascension Day there was the Arkhangelsk fair (on the square at the Arkhangelsk church) where peasants traded their goods and crafts.

The peasant women wove, embroidered clothes, and made needlepoints. Craftswomen were especially encouraged and their goods were a source of pride. In the estate there were different workshops.

Women from a young age took over the secrets of folk crafts. Embroidered tablecloths, lace napkins, curtains and other household items were also typical for noble interior. Peasant women competed in decoration of their dresses and dowry. ln Russian folk culture the embroidery is not just a series of symbols, it is a handmade prayer.


Peasant costume, Novozhivotinnoe village, the 19th century


2. Peasant costumes in Voronezh region in 18th century
3.4. Towels with embroidery typical of Voronezh region, 19th century

Venevitinovs’ Family History

The hall is dedicated to several generations of the family starting from the people living in Catherine’s era to modern descendants. The written documents, portraits, and awards talk about Venevitinovs’ military and public service. The role of the family in the history of Russia is clearly highlighted. Apart from the main estate in Novozhivotinnoe, the members of the family lived in the estates in such villages as Starozhivotinnoe, Russkaya Gvozdevka and Gorozhanka.

The way of life of the family was largely determined by A.L. Venevitinov‘s great-grandson, Peter Ankindinovich Venevitinov who received a certificate confirming hereditary nobility and the family emblem. He also rebuilt the family house in a large mansion. His son, Vladimir Petrovich, was married to princess A.N. Obolenskaya (A.S. Pushkin‘s second cousin aunt) and he was the father to poet Dmitry Venevitinov. Thus, the poets Pushkin and Venevitinov were third cousins.
Another son, Aleksey Venevitinov, became a senator, has made a significant contribution to the development of the estate, he also rebuilt the Archangelsk church. His wife, countess A.M. Vielgorskaya, intermarried the Venevitinovs with bearers of high literary traditions of St. Petersburg. One of their sons, Vladimir Alekseevich, was in the public service at the royal house of the Romanovs. The other one, Miehael Alekseevich (l9th century), was an outstanding Russian historian and educator, and he played a major role in the social and cultural life of the Voronezh region.

The last bearer of the family traditions was Aleksey Venevitinov who lived in the early 20th century (1875-1925). Already being in emigration he had a son, Michael (l920- 2001) who kept the historical name in the English manner: Venworth that is in literal translation means «worthy from Veneva.» Year 1996 marks the establishment of friendly relationships between the museum and Venevitinovs’ descendants.


1. St. Stanislav Order, First Class
2. St. Anna Order, Second Class
3. Star of St.Stanislav Order
4. Venevitinovs’ Family Emblem
5. Venevitinovs’ Family Tree

Dmitry Venevitinov’s Childhood and Adolescence

The exposition presents a period in the life of the family associated with the arrangement in Moscow, the birth of Dmitry Venevitinov, his brothers and sisters, as well as years ol‘ maturation and personal formation of the future poet. The hall contains materials that characterize the life and the environment in which Dmitry grew up.

Dmitry Vencvitinov was born in Moscow on l4th (26) September 1805. His early childhood is associated \vith the estates near Moscow where the Family had a rest. When the children grew up, his lather, Vladimir Petrovich, began to take the family to the Voronezh estate in Novozhivotinnoe. There they lived all summer, but with the first frost they came back to the capital. Dmitry Venevitinov had an excellent education. By the age of fourteen Dmitry could read in the original Virgil, Horace, Homer, Aeschylus, translated them into Russian. He could perfectly speak French, German, English and learned Italian. In addition, Dmitry composed music, excellently painted, and wrote poetry. In l822, in the age of sixteen, Dmitry attended lectures on all 4 branches of the Moscow University.

Certainly, thanks to the comprehensive development that he had being a child and because of his intrinsic talents, Dmitry Venevitinov showed diverse abilities and interests in his creative activity.


1. Dmitry Venevitinov’s portrait by O. V. Dmitrienko (a copy from the original by Y. Ivanov, the 20 the century)
2. Dmitry Venevitinov’s Pictures: a dancing peasant girl, a man’s head
3. Dmitry Venevitinov’s autograph: a man on the roof of a tavern


4. А table with some books, an ink pot, a paperweight, Venevitinov’s autographs. All objects are dated to the 19th century
5. Bouillotte for boiling water, the 19th century
6. Fragment of the exposition in the hall «Dmitry Venevitinov’s childhood and adolescence.» A dining table, a wardrobe, crockery, a samovar.

Social life of the capitals

The exposition of the hail tells us about Moscow and St. Petersburg period of Dmitry Venevitinov‘s life (friendly meetings, walks in the country, dances, fancy dress parties and, of course, the theatre).
After graduating, from the Moscow University in 1823 Dmitry Venevitinov did the service at the Moscow Archive of Foreign Affairs. Many talented young people who later became the pride of the national culture, did their service there at that time. In autumn in 1826, Dmitry Venevitinov left Moscow and went to St. Petersburg where he entered the service at the Asian Department of Foreign Affairs. He resumes old acquaintances and make the new ones, leads a social life and works hard. It is the most fruitful period in his life where his poetic talent was highly developed.

Herbarium (author — Ilya Dolgov*)

«Herbarium» is an exhibition of contemporary art in the museum. Author – Ilya Dolgov.

The exhibition opens the Voronezh project «Modern art in the Voronezh museums.» This project has something in common with the annual festival held in St. Petersburg and called «Contemporary Art in the Traditional Museum». In the modern world, in the common museum practice, there is a tendency to coexistence. Of the classical (traditional) and innovative (modern) art. So, «Herbarium» by Ilya Dolgov harmoniously fit into the interior of an ancient Russian manor. The author uses the herbarium as a demonstrative example of interaction between man and nature. He writes about his work: «14 years ago l collected herbarium of the most common plants from the floodplain meadows and pine forest. Herbarium is a special form of knowledge of nature. It combines direct and almost infantile experience of world perception… I redrew the herbarium sheet-to-sheet, got imaginary friends among the plants. I tried to understand the realm from which they came and its relationship with man. A herbarium, or a drawing — only these ways of perception allowed me to get back the part of the world.»

*Ilya Dolgov is a young artist from Voronezh. Nominee of the State Prize “Innovation 2010” and “Innovation 2011”. Participant of many Russian and foreign exhibitions. Author of a series of lectures on contemporary art “From Baundelaire to the present day.” Works with graphics, video objects, and installations.

Love Lyrics by Dmitry Venevitinov

The exhibition has the following topics: «Love lyrics by D. Venevitinov» and «Zinaida Volkonskaya is an image of the era of the late 18th and early 19th centuries.»

An important event in Dmitry Venevitinov‘s life was his acquaintance with Zinaida Volkonskaya who was a remarkable woman, a mistress of one of the most brilliant literary salons in Moscow. Venevitinov loved her with passionate and poetic love. And the symbol of that love was the famous princess ring once found during the excavations of Herculaneum and Pompeii. Volkonskaya gave it to the poet when Dmitry was leaving for St. Petersburg. Venevitinov attached the ring to the watch like a breloque announcing that he would put it only before marriage or death. This event in his life is depicted in the poem «To my ring,» which may well be regarded as prophetic. And Venevitinov‘s poetic prediction came true. In 1930 Venevitinov’s grave, due to the closing of the cemetery at the Former Simonov monastery, was transferred to the Novo-Dyevitchiye cemetery. After exhumation the ring was taken out and now it is kept in the State Literary Museum in Moscow

The exhibition also reflects the most significant events from the Zinaida Volkonskaya’s biography. There are her drawings and the house on Tverskaya street where the princess was the mistress of the literary and musical salon.

The main merit from the part of Zinaida Volkonskaya was that she made an attempt to connect the European culture with the Russian one and to bring to life the idea of cultural rapprochement between Russia and Europe. If Peter I made a «window» to Europe, Zinaida Volkonskaya made a bridge between cultures, encouraged exchange of ideas and accomplishments. The exhibition also presents Italian period of her life, pieces of furniture that were typical of that time.


1. Zinaida Volkonskaya’s portrait. O.V. Dmitrienko (a copy from the original painting. O. A. Kiprensky, 1829)
2. Dmitry Venevitinov’s autograph «To my ring»
3. The ring presented by Zinaida Volkonskaya to Dmitry Venevitinov (the original is kept at the State Literary Museum)


4. Fragment of the exposition in the hall «Love Lyrics.» Piano «Lichtenthal»


5. Picture made by Zinaida Volkonskaya (the original is kept at Russian State Archive of Literature and Art)
6. The dressing table with a mirror and toilet items, the late 19th century

Love of Wisdom Society

The exposition covers the period of the poet’s life associated with literary and philosophical society «Love of Wisdom» which was organized in Moscow in l823. This circle, apart from its head, V.F. Odoevsky, and secretary, D.V. Venevitinov, also included critic I.V. Kireevsky, writers N.M. Rozhalin and Koshelev. Novelist

and historian M. Pogodin and poet and philologist S.P. Shevyrev also were the members of the circle. Wishing to get rid of the influence of the French philosophy of Voltaire and Rousseau, the members of the group refused to be called philosophers and preferred to call themselves «Lovers of Wisdom.“

“Lovers of Wisdom» wanted people to understand intellectual efforts using literary creativity. They strived for literary education through poetry and prose. This desire expressed clearly in the “Russian Nights» by V.F. Odoevsky, in verses by D.V. Venevitinov and S.P. Shevyrev. Having become a literary critic, Dmitry Venevitinov wanted to change the course of development of the Russian literature. The ardent nature of the poet combined a clear and grand character.

  1. Antique map of the world and the sky map, 1708, a copy
  2. А. Pokrovsky, Odoevsky’s portrait, 1844, a copy


The School of Athens Engraving from the painting by Joseph Kadesh made from frescoes by Raphael Sanzio. Engraver — Volnato Giovanni (1738-1803). The original is kept at Kramskoy Museum

M.A. Venevitinov’s Study

The hall is dedicated to Mikhail Alekseevich Venevitinov, an archaeologist, historian, poet, archeographer, writer, director of the Moscow Public and Rumyantsev Museum (now the Russian State Library). Michael Alekseevich was Earl Vielgorsky’s grandson and the owner of a large fortune. He held the position of the Secretary of the Voronezh Statistical Committee, was a member of the major scientific societies devoted to the study of the Fatherland (Archaeological Commission, the Moscow Archaeological Society, the Geographical Society, the Society of Russian History and Antiquities, the Society of Lovers of Russian Literature and others. )

Also, Michael Alekseevich was elected Voronezh provincial marshal of nobility. He tried to unite all people who were interested in serious matters of literature, science and public life, took an active part in all educational and charitable activities in Voronezh. Venevitinov wrote local history books and articles: «From Voronezh antiquity» (an informative essay on the history of the Voronezh region for three centuries of its existence), Voronezh, 1887 .; «Painted brick houses» (a book dedicated to Novozhivotinnoe), M., 1890 Michael Alekseevich carefully studied the history of Venevitinovs’ family and created a family archive. This archive, along with valuable documents about Pushkin’s era and with its extensive library of books and objects of virtu (from earls Vielgorsky) Venevitinov granted to the Rumyantsev Museum. Currently, M.A. Venevitinov’s fund in the manuscript department of the Russian State Library has about 2500 units.


Fragment of the exposition «M. A. Venevitinov’s Study»


Fragment of the exposition «M. A. Venevitinov’s Study»


Staff at the Rumyantsev Museum

Social life of the capitals

The exposition of the hall tells us about Moscow and St. Petersburg period of Dmitry Venevitinov’s life (friendly meetings, walks in the country, dances, fancy dress parties and, of course, the theatre). After graduating from the Moscow University in 1823 Dmitry Venevitinov did the service at the Moscow Archive of Foreign Affairs. Many talented young people, who later became the pride of the national culture, did their service there at that time. С легкой руки друга А.С. Пушкина Сергея Соболевского, служащих архива стали называть «архивные юноши». In autumn in 1826, Dmitry Venevitinov left Moscow and went to St. Petersburg where he entered the service at the Asian Department of Foreign Affairs. He resumes old acquaintances and make the new ones, leads a social life and works hard. It is the most fruitful period in his life where his poetic talent was highly developed.


Moscow University, 1820


Fragment of the exposition in the hall «Social Life.» Installation on the topic «Eugene Onegin»


Art patron Game of charades. M.A. Zichi, 1859
Picture by A. Pushkin taken from the manuscript of «Eugene Onegin» Profile of D. Venevitinov

Fireplace Room

The hall presents the following topics: «Music in D.V. Venevitinov’s life», «Salons and musical culture in Russia in the late 18th and in the early 19th centuries.»

History of salons is an integral part of the cultural heritage of Russia. They flourished in the 20-30s of the 19th century. At that time musical evenings, literary talks and meetings were very popular. Salon culture becomes a form of organization of cultural life that has its own specific features.

The atmosphere in a salon was largely dependent on the social status of the host, his intellectual interests, and cultural preferences. The salon that was organized by A.N. Olenin, President of the Russian Academy of Arts and the owner of the estate Priyutino, had a literary bias. The musical held by M.Y Vielgorsky and A.F. Lvov were very popular. The musical bias also had a salon held in Venevitinovs’ estate.


Fragment of the exposition: the marble fireplace with a mirror, candlesticks and a clock of the 19th century


Fragment of the exposition «Fireplace room» Piano «Schroder», the 19th century Cello, the late 19th century

He was the focus and reflection of the general trends of development of musical life in Russia at that time.

Dmitry Venevitinov was a pianist and composer, as well as an admirer of Beethoven. M.Y. Vielgorsky’s grandson, D.V. Venevitinov’s nephew — M.A. Venevitinov, one of the founders of the Voronezh branch of the Imperial Music Society, became the successor of the high cultural traditions of the family.

Dmitry Venevitinov’s Memorial Estate
Voronezh region, Ramonsky District, Novozhivotinnoe, Shkolnaya St., 18
Phone number: 8 (473) 403-14-90