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Top 10 Art Museums of Moscow and Saint Petersburg
April 3, 2006 14:02

Moscow

The Moscow Kremlin

The State Tretyakov Gallery

The Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts

The Central House of Artist

The All-Russian Museum of Folk Arts and Crafts

The State Museum of Oriental Art

St.-Petersburg

The State Hermitage Museum

The State Russian Museum

The Peterhof

Peter the Great's Museum of Anthropology and Ethnography (the Kunstkammer)

The Moscow Kremlin

See the heart of Moscow adorned with grandeval towers and cathedrals, enshrining antique treasures and mysteries of the past. It is here where the history of this country has been made. And the tombs of those who made it are here. In addition to the tangible scent of history you will probably enjoy the bizarre architecture of numerous towers, palaces and churches in and around the Kremlin, as well as splendid frescos, icons and luxurious jewels by old masters.
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The State Tretyakov Gallery

If you are interested in Russian painting, the first museum to visit in Moscow is certainly the Tretyakov Gallery, the major national art gallery on a par with the best world museums. Here you will probably get lost among over a hundred thousand exhibits presenting all the periods and trends of Russian fine arts, from the 10th to the 20th century. All the history of Russian art you can see with your own eyes: the primordial art of the pre-Mongolian Rus, icons by Andrey Rublyov and Dionisii, classical and romantic portraits of Russian tsars, outstanding public figures and noble beauties, enchanting impressionistic landscapes by Levitan and Kuinji, dramatically mystic heroes of Vrubel, puzzling avant-garde of Malyevich and so on, and so forth, one can hardly enumerate all. Here is also a collection of Russian sculpture and graphics of the 18th - early 20th century. So many masterpieces you might have heard about and wanted to see in original - all in one place!

Yet, the 20th century art occupies another building, that of the Central House of Artist.
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The Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts

The Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts has nothing to do with Alexander Pushkin, the poet the Russians are so proud of and use his name to mark something similarly great. Actually, the museum has not much to do with the Russian art either. Here you will find an enormous collection of foreign art dated from ancient times to modern days. You can make a real journey in time and space, observing sculptures of Greek gods, Egyptian mummies and sarcophagi, carnal still-life paintings by the Flemish masters, spell-bounding impressionistic masterpieces by Claude Monet, Paul Cezanne, Vincent Van Gogh and Paul Gauguin neighboring on Russian avant-guardists Mark Chagall and Vassilii Kandinskii.
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The Central House of Artist

Are you interested in contemporary art? The Central House of Artist is the right place for you to visit in Moscow! The spacious halls of the art center on Krymsky Val host various temporary exhibitions by modern Russian and foreign artists. Large-scale international projects such as Art-Moscow fair are regularly held there. Numerous design, architecture, fashion, advertising and photo exhibitions (among them Antique Saloon, Design and Advertising, Architecture and Design, Shop Design, Ambient Russia and Non-Fiction) often take place here, representing the development of modern art in various spheres of life.

Here you will also find a wide choice of original works of decorative and applied arts, which can become superb souvenirs, presents or ornaments in your own house.

Children and adults might be enchanted by the fancy artistic toys in the Vakhtanov Gallery located on the first floor of the CHA.

You can also visit a rock or jazz concert or watch a movie in the CHA. After an extensive cultural program you can have a rest in a local bar or a restaurant, or in the nearby Park of Art and Culture, rich in sculptures and flowers.

The All-Russian Museum of Folk Arts and Crafts

Are you sure that matryoshkas (nested dolls), kerchiefs and other garish souvenirs you get in the Arbat Street or in souvenir shops have much to do with authentic Russian tradition? The best way to check it is to visit the All-Russian Museum of Folk Arts and Crafts, the collections of which encompass the works of artistic handicraft, vernacular arts and author's works of decorative and applied arts of Russia, from the 16th century till the end of the 20th century. Here you will see the famous Russian lacquered articles (painted boxes, trays and Easter eggs), samovars, ornamental castings and jewels of the leading Russian manufactures of the 19th - early 20th century, china and glass of the Emperor's and private factories, agitprop china and fabrics of the 1920s, as well as works of contemporary masters of decorative and applied arts and folk arts.

The State Museum of Oriental Art

Have you ever thought of Russia as a land opening the gates to the mysterious East? In the Museum of Oriental Art you will feel it's true. The museum considered among especially valuable objects of cultural heritage of Russia represents most complete collections of art of the Far and Middle East, Middle Asia, Caucasus, Transcaucasia, Kazakhstan, Buryatia, Chukotka, etc. The museum funds keep paintings, graphics, sculpture and decorative arts of Japan, China, Korea, India, Vietnam, Burma, Laos, Tibet, Thailand, Cambodia, Indonesia, Mongolia, and many other countries (over a hundred countries). One can't but admire unique specimen of archaic and ancient sculpture, especially Buddhist ones, classic and modern paintings, including those on scrolls, art of wood and bone carving, textile and jewelry, miniature sculpture, decorated weaponry and housewares.

Of all the permanent expositions there stand out works by prominent Russian artists, thinkers, scholars and enlighteners - Nikolai and Svyatoslav Roerich whose activities were closely associated with the Orient. Address: 12-A, Nikitsky Bulvar, Moscow
Opening hours: 11 a.m. - 8 p.m. every day except Monday

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The State Hermitage Museum

One of the world biggest and most luxurious museums, it hardly needs to be introduced. However, certain advice can be of help: you really should have time on your hands to visit the Hermitage. One day will hardly be enough to go around the 6 buildings housing richest collection of world culture and art from the Stone Age to the 20th century. Read more


The State Russian Museum

Rivaling the Tretyakov Gallery in Moscow, the Russian Museum is home of national gallery representing most vivid and versatile phenomena of Russian art from the seventeenth to the twentieth centuries. If you want to study the development of artistic ideas and culture in Russia you'd better see it with your own eyes in the Russian museum. Here you can observe the best collections of icons and Old Russian applied art, ranging from the tenth to the eighteenth centuries. Besides impressive collections, you will certainly marvel at the splendor of the four palaces which house the museum and give a retrospective panorama of Russian architecture - Baroque (Stroganov Palace), early and late Neoclassicism (Marble Palace and Mikhailovsky Palace). To enjoy it you do not have to get down far- the museum is located in the very centre of St. - Petersburg, which also its historic part.
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The Peterhof

If you are lucky to be in the 'second capital' of Russia, it would be strange of you not to visit the worldly famous 'cap


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