Back in the middle of the 19th century, merchants from the Tarasyan (Torosyan) family had a very diversified business. The trade of textiles, spices, grain, and supplies for the needs of the Russian army (and a little later for the Russian railway builders laying out railways to the south of the country) allowed them to accumulate a very significant capital, and their numerous production lines (primarily textile and later also oil) further contributed to its increase.
The Tarasyan family changed their surname to the Russian-sounding Tarasov and began to think about establishing representative offices in the center of Russia. At some point, they moved to Moscow and became Moscow merchants.
At the beginning of the 20th century, the figure of Nikolai Tarasov, an outstanding individual prone to decadent behavior, stood out especially in the vast Tarasov family. Contemporaries noted his impeccable taste and talent in various arts (from poetry and music to theater).
Tarasov became a true innovator of the Silver Age – he supported the progressive Moscow Art Theater that was at the time experiencing financial problems. He also established the theater-cabaret “Letuchaya Mysh” (“Bat”).
And all would be fine if not for Tarasov’s aforementioned decadent behavior. Creative impulses were contrasted by the deficiency of love of life, and the result was a variety of emotional outbreaks and depression.
A dramatic, even tragic ending in such a situation was, perhaps, inevitable. Soon, Moscow would gossip about a triple suicide up until the revolution itself…
Tarasov had a lover. Her name was Olga Gribova. She, in reality, was not some ordinary promiscuous girl – she was the wife of the famous businessman Nikolai Gribov and a former actress.
The relationship between Tarasov and Gribova was passionate but short-lived – the windy woman would soon become carried away by Junker (military rank for junior officers) Nikolai (yes, another Nikolai) Zhuravlev. Zhuravlev was frivolous and even foolish – he was a member of the board of governors of a large factory and was often losing official money to card games.
Trying to cover the shortage of money, Zhuravlev tried to borrow money from friends. But 250,000 pre-revolutionary rubles was a serious amount, and such money could not be found easily…
Then, he addressed his mistress, and Olga Gribova, in turn, did not find anything better than to address Tarasov for help! The arrogant Armenian zeal gave way to Armenian pride – Tarasov resolutely refused.
Nikolai Zhuravlev would not be able to find the money and… shot himself!
Learning about this, Olga Gribova shot herself as well, but unsuccessfully. The seriously wounded spouse of a tycoon was taken to the hospital.
Upon learning of this, Tarasov also shot himself.
The triple suicide caused a string of various rumors. Boulevard scribblers would talk about dozens of mystical coincidences, try to turn the love triangle into a rhombus or even a pentagram, and compose the most absurd fables…
Article from “Guide to Moscow”