Pertsova’s apartment house

The house is full of signs of paganism.

Once on Prechistenskaya Embankment or on the opposite bank of the Moskva River, you cannot fail to notice the amazing red brick house with a unique ceramic decor. From the new bridge it became possible to look up  the unusual architecture of this house, as if consisting of several different volumes,

But to discover the secrets — a kind of pagan signs hidden on the facades of the Pertsova’s apartment house, still it is necessary to come closer and carefully consider the magnificent ceramic and metal decorations.

This is how the Pertsova’s apartment house looks lik from Soymonovsky Proezd: the unexpectedly located ridge end of the roof and the corner bay window-tower, as it were, create the impression of three facades.

And this is a view from the embankment: again the ridge end of the roof, but its location already visually emphasizes a certain “isolation” of this volume of the building  facing the embankment. And this is not by chance: it was in this volume of the building, faced to the Moscow River, that Pyotr Nikolayevich Pertsov,  the customer and owner of this house, placed his apartment

Here is what Victor Sutormin writes: “In the spring, until the foliage of the overgrown trees hide the facades of this amazing building from their eyes, it’s impossible to take their eyes off it. Windows of different shapes and asymmetrically located balconies, not similar to each other, create an absolutely harmonious image, and this paradox can only be explained by the words of Francis Bacon: “There is no beauty that would not have some weird proportions”. ”(http: / / )

The exciting history of creating this unique building, the choice of the construction site and the design project of the artist Sergey Malyutin (the author of the famous matryoshka J ), the history of the “Bat” cabaret and the artists of the “Bubnovy Valet” group, Trotsky and Pertsov himself, and much more…. You can read on pointed above link or  in the book “On both sides of the Arbat” (Victor Sutormin, Moscow Tsentropoligraf, 2016)

This post will complement this story with illustrations of the unique facade decor of the Pertsova’s apartment house. Ceramic decor was performed by the artel of students and teachers of the Stroganov School maned  “Murava”. This artel, as it is now called, the creative laboratory, was headed by a well-known ceramist, technologist of artistic ceramics A.B. Filippov. Noteworthy fact in the work of the artel was attended by such famous masters as N. A. Andreev, K.А.Korovin, D.I. Mitrokhin, S.T.Konenkov and S.V.Malyutin. (Pozdnyakova Ksenia Grigorievna, “THE ART OF CERAMICS IN THE CREATIVE PRACTICE OF RUSSIAN ARTISTS OF THE END OF THE XIX AND BEGINNING OF THE XX CENTURY.”  Abstract  of the dissertation for the degree of candidate  (PhD) of art history). It was not only the request but also the sketches of Sergey Vasilyevich Malyutin that the artel “Murava” implemented  ceramic works for the facade of Pertsova’s apartment house. Unfortunately, it is not yet possible to state  exactly who performed the artwork on the metal (on the ridge of the roof and the spire).

For the Pertsova’s building , the artel produced more than thirty compositions. Here and floral ornament and “fabulous” (pagan) characters: ‘Yarilo” sun, bull, fighting with a bear, and the bird “Sirin”, and the hare, the heat-bird. And also sea creatures and some “toy” figures (maybe a hare?)

Totally, 16! characters!  can be  counted on the facade. And that’s not counting the wonderful floral ornament.

Of course, the most interesting and memorable — is to find all these 16 characters yourself. If someone decides then again advice: spring the best time  to go to the Pertsova’s building when the foliage does not interfere with the consideration of ceramic drawings. And it is better to go in the morning when the sun illuminates the two “main” facades — on Soymonovsky passage and on Prechistenskaya embankment

And for those who do not dare or wait for good weather, these fabulous and not-so-fabulous characters of the facade of the Pertsova”s building  are from the photo-archive of the project “hidden city” ( )

Lions and  Seahorses




Stylized figurines (hare?)  and  Fish (as from jellyfish can be seen 🙂 There are three similar panels on the façade.

Fish-octopus and  Yarylo-sun



Bird –siren

Owl (or — Bird hamayun )


and more



Bull and Bear



and on Soymonovsky passage

And so is the thoughtful-attentive sun 🙂 

And as a bonus to those who inspected — a living crow, who did not fail to decorate with a metal horse with lions ?

Even more photos of the facade of the House of Peppers are presented in this Photo collection.