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Tretyakov Gallery

A major museum of Russian art


The Tretyakov Gallery, one of the world's largest art museums, houses the gems of Russian art from the 11th through the early 20th centuries.

The exposition features some of the all-time favorites with art lovers—The Morning in a Pine Forest by Ivan Shishkin, The Demon Seated by Mikhail Vrubel, and The Rooks Have Come Back by Alexei Savrasov—and world-renowned masterpieces, such as The Trinity by Andrei Rublev or The Appearance of Christ Before the People by Alexander Ivanov.

In 1851, merchant and philanthropist Pavel Tretyakov purchased a house in Lavrushinsky Lane. Later, it would see multiple additions and extensions to accommodate the ever-expanding exposition. The earliest works in Tretyakov's collection were The Temptation by Nikolay Shilder and Finnish Smugglers by Vasily Khudyakov. Throughout the 1860s, Tretyakov would buy paintings by Vasily Perov, Lev Lagorio, Mikhail Clodt, Ivan Shishkin, and Karl Bryullov. The later additions included canvases by Vasily Surikov, Ilya Repin, Viktor Vasnetsov, Vasily Polenov, Ivan Kramskoy, Isaac Levitan, and Valentin Serov. In picking the artworks, Tretyakov went by his own preferences and often purchased paintings with low critical acclaim. In 1892, he donated his collection to the city of Moscow, and one year later, the gallery was opened to the public.

The museum hosts temporary exhibitions and multiple educational and cultural programs. For many, the Tretyakov Gallery has been offering lectures for schoolchildren of various ages.

Tickets to the gallery are time-slotted: you pick a 30-minute interval for entering the museum. The advisable stay is two hours.

Besides the main building, the Tretyakov Gallery runs several branches, the largest of which is the New Tretyakov Gallery on Krymsky Val Street, housing the 20th century art collection and showcasing contemporary works. Yet another branch, the Tolmachi Cultural Center, sits next to an active church, the Temple of St. Nicholas in Tolmachi, which is also part of the gallery complex. It hosts lectures and operates a center of creativity.

The gallery owns the museum-house of the outstanding Russian artist Viktor Vasnetsov, the memorial apartment of his brother, artist Apollinary Vasnetsov, the museum-apartment of the great sculptor Anna Golubkina, and the memorial museum of artist and restorer Pavel Korin (closed for reconstruction until 2022).

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