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The Tretyakov Gallery
April 12, 2019 18:13

The State Tretyakov Gallery is one of the world's largest art museums, a treasure trove of the Russian art. Founded by Moscow merchant Pavel Tretyakov in 1856, it was donated to the city of Moscow in 1892. The Tretyakov Gallery keeps the world's largest collection of Russian painting, graphic art and sculpture: the museum houses more than 190,000 exhibits created from the 11th to the 20th centuries. Among them there are fine art masterpieces of global impact.
Pavel Tretyakov, the Founder

The collection of the Tretyakov Gallery has grown from the collections of brothers Sergei and Pavel Tretyakovs. While purchasing the works of Russian art was just a hobby for the former, the latter took it as the matter of his life. The first paintings were bought by Pavel Tretyakov in 1856, which is considered the year of the foundation of the Tretyakov Gallery. He kept his art treasures in the house, which is the gallery’s main building in the Lavrushinsky Lane today.

The building was expanded several times and at the beginning of the 20th century it gained the famous modern look. Immediately after the founding the gallery, Pavel Tretyakov decided to donate it to Moscow and in 1893 it became open to the general public. Being a modest and unambitious person, the philanthropist refused to take the nobleman title granted to him by the tsar. At the same time, Pavel Tretyakov was sincerely glad that he was able to do something really worthwhile for Russian culture. Thus, he gratefully accepted the title of the honorary citizen of Moscow. This title was granted to him by the City Duma as a sign of high distinction and gratitude for his high merits in the preservation of Russian art culture.
Pavel Tretyakov: a Merchant or a ollector?

The History of the Tretyakov Gallery

Throughout the 20th century, the Tretyakov Gallery was growing fast and expanding to additional buildings. An important milestone in the history of the Tretyakov Gallery was the appointment of the artist, art historian, and architect and art historian Igor Grabar to the post of its trustee in 1913. Under his leadership, the Tretyakov Gallery became a museum of the European level. In the late 1970s, an affiliate pavilion was opened in the Krymsky Val to contain the masterpieces of the 20th century Russian art.
The museum branches also include the St. Nicholas Museum Church in Tolmachy, the Apollinarius Vasnetsov Apartment Museum, the Victor Vasnetsov House Museum, the Anna Golubkina Workshop Museum and the Pavel Korin House Museum.

Collections of the Tretyakov Gallery

The most complete is the unrivalled collection of the Russian art of the second half of the 19th century. Pavel Tretyakov was probably the main buyer of the artworks of the Itinerants from their very first exhibition. Paintings by Perov, Kramskoy, Polenov, Ge, Savrasov, Kuindji, Vasilyev, Vasnetsov, Surikov, and Repin acquired by the founder of the Tretyakov Gallery himself are the pride of the museum. Here are truly the best examples of the Golden Age of the Russian painting.

Other great Russian artists are also wonderfully represented here. Paintings by Nesterov, Serov, Levitan, Malyavin, Korovin, as well as Alexander Benois, Vrubel, Somov, and Roerich take a place of honour at the exhibition. After October 1917, the museum’s collection was replenished both through nationalized collections and thanks to works by contemporary artists. Their canvases give an idea of ​​the development of the Soviet art, its official trends and the underground avant-garde.

The Tretyakov Gallery continues to replenish its funds. Since the beginning of the 21st century, there has been a department of modern trends with the works of contemporary art.
In addition to paintings, the Tretyakov Gallery has a rich collection of Russian graphic art and sculpture, as well as a valuable archive of manuscripts. The gallery boasts a rich collection of old Russian icons, which is one of the best in the world. Its foundation was laid by Pavel Tretyakov himself. After his death, it contained about 60 artworks, and currently it has about 4000 units.

Where: the State Tretyakov Gallery at the address 10, Lavrushinsky Lane, next to metro station Tretyakovskaya, Moscow.
Open hours: from 10 am to 6 pm on Tue, Wed, Sun; from 10 am to 9 pm on Thu through Sat.

The official website of the Tretyakov Gallery
History of Russian Fine Arts
Russian Sculpture: History Outline
Russian Avant-Garde Art
Top 10 Art Museums of Moscow and Saint Petersburg

Author: Vera Ivanova

Tags: Tretyakov Gallery Pavel Tretyakov Exhibitions in Moscow Moscow Museums Russian Art 

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