The Lowering of the Coffin into the Grave with Kneeling Mourners
Aleksey Ivanovich Saveliev (Russian, 1883–1923)
November 9, 1910
Gelatin silver print
Image: 8.9 x 13.3 cm (3 1/2 x 5 1/4 in.)
Gift of Pierre Apraxine, 2010
Not on view
These six photo-postcards show various places and moments surrounding the death and burial of Leo Tolstoy. In November 1910 the eighty-two-year-old novelist walked away from his great wealth to devote himself to Christian charity and died in a stationmaster's house after falling ill on a train. Tolstoy's death was of tremendous national importance, and how he was to be mourned–whether to kneel or stand at the grave, for instance–signified a contrast between old and new that would be decided during the Russian Revolution seven years later.
The Metropolitan Museum of Art. ""Our Future Is In The Air": Photographs from the 1910s," November 10, 2010–April 10, 2011.