Brought to your gracious attention
illustrations for Table Talk 1882 project
(Based on B. Akunin’s book of the same name)

Issued regularly

5 August, 2006

Chapter Seven

Contents: Let us introduce to you. — Before the mirror. — Restoration. — A fallen metteur-en-pages. — Making the bed.

In this chapter the reader finds himself on a bed in a girl’s bedroom. The end of the 19th century.

Narrated by Vasya Dubovoy

Let us introduce to you.

Molly Sapegina is a young widow, 28 years old. She is a plump sexy girl with dark hair and beautiful, though a little naïve eyes.

For this scene we will need the following: Molly, a bedroom, a mirror, a cabinet, a picture of a not-too-bright but handsome officer in a mourning frame, a puffy rose and an album (which we would be able to look through).

Andrey Azarov made a draft with a girl sitting before the mirror and her album lying on the dressing table.

Before the mirror.

Lets choose Molly’s sitting posture.

Etch the views we like.

And go over to the mirror.

We produce an ornament for the carved frame by drawing one unit and cloning it.

Make it a bit dusty, hang it carefully on the wall and turn on the morning lights.


It would be nice to have some 19th century tapestry on the walls, but where do we get those?

On one of Andrey Tikhanov’s photographs we see a wonderful sample of tapestry of the time.

Lets try it on in Molly’s bedroom.

The pattern seems all right, but it cannot be seen in detail.

We meditatively repeat a haiku by Shiki: “Roses: The flowers are easy to paint, the leaves difficult.”
We pick some flowers from our photo collection and start twining wreaths.

Masaoka Shiki (1867—1902), Japanese poet who modernized haiku and tanka.
Fragment borrowed from Aldous Huxley’s “The Doors of Perception & Heaven And Hell” (1954).

We copy the pattern onto the tapestry, paper the walls and furnish the room.

A fallen metteur-en-pages.

We thought our metteur-en-page Sergey Fedorov would make a fine officer killed during the Russo-Turkish war.

We take a picture of Serega
with a simple hand held camera.

Rid of color.

Grow a moustache and remove all modern details.

Supply a shoulder belt and shoulder straps, sew buttons on the double-breasted uniform and in token of our favor we grant him the 3rd degree Cross of St. George.

Making the bed.

We scatter smaller things around the room: a chandelier, the album, the rose, the mourning frame and a peignoir on the back of a chair.

It looks fine, but it isn’t yet clear wherefrom the reader is looking at Molly. We’ve decided that it is a good idea to place the reader on the bed.

We wish to know what a bed in the late 19th century girl’s bedroom, or rather its footboard looked like.

We take an online tour around summer residence of Imperator Pavel I and his family and see a girl’s bedroom, 1850—1860.

We could not view this bed from other points, but we won’t let this upset us too much. We note a characteristic curve and on the basis of the light and shade pattern model the front view of the footboard.

Its shape reminds us of a cloud. Lets use “dark oak” instead of white paint to bring it out in the foreground. Make the tapestry look old to create a dull feeling.

But the girl’s album is still empty.

You will learn what the 19th century girls would write in such albums from the next chapter. Meanwhile, we select some ink pens and set off on a plant collecting trip to Zelenograd.

(To be continued.)

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