The Room of Lydia Zinovieva-Annibal

Lydia Zinovieva-Annibal
Margarita Sabashnikova left Zinovieva-Annibal's verbal portrait: "In Lydia one was struck by … a Michelangelo-like massiveness… There was something lion-like in the set of her head; strong neck, audacious gaze, and also small ears lying close [to the head] strengthened her resemblance to a lion. But the most unique was her coloring: blond hair with a pink shimmer, but dark skin as a result of which the shiny whites of her eyes especially stood out".

Lydia Zinovieva-Annibal's room had bright orange wallpaper. The furniture consisted of two low couches and a tall brightly painted wooden vessel in which she kept her rolled manuscripts. During the Wednesdays, while philosophical debates continued in the living room, "non-philosophers" often gathered in her room. It had no furniture, only mattresses covered with carpets, pillows, and big camellias, all in red tones. Instead of sitting, one had to almost lie down, which her loose Greek style dress suited well. The guests, on the other hand, in jackets with tight collars and in trousers, did not always find it as easy to adopt such a pose.

Although Ivanov and Zinovieva-Annibal promoted radical ideas on sexuality, their sleeping arrangement followed those of the Russian upper class: they had separate bedrooms. On the other hand, this practice also gave to Zinovieva-Annibal "a room of her own" where she could work on her writings.

Zinovieva-Annibal was famous for the tunics she wore. According to her daughter Lydia, she simply could not pass up a sale of fabric without buying some (later these were used for making costumes for the Tower theatre). The tunics consisted of two long pieces of fabric, fastened at the shoulders with brooches, and a long piece resting on her arm like a scarf. In his 1934 diary, Mikhail Kuzmin remembers how dependent Zinovieva-Annibal's magic aura was on the special setting of the Tower: "When Bakst invited her for a breakfast, the poorly made-up Diotima, in a badly stitched town dress, and in the daylight of Bakst’s elegant bachelor apartment, left a rather pitiful impression."