Tretyakov Gallery

Tretyakovskaya galereya

Nowadays visitors of the famous Gallery can see over 170 thousand artistic works ranging from ancient icons to avant-garde pieces. The Gallery’s collection of icons includes such gems as the Trinity by Andrey Rublyov, the 12th century Theotokos of Vladimir, works by Theophanes the Greek, Dionisius, Simon Ushakov. The 18th century paintings are represented by such masters of portraits as Fyodor Rokotov, Dmitry Levitsky, Vladimir Borovikovsky. The early 19th century collection features pieces by Orest Kiprensky (author of the famous portrait of Alexander Pushkin), Vasily Tropinin, as well as colourful paintings by Karl Bryullov, while the epic Appearance of Christ Before the People by Alexander Ivanov is displayed in a special hall entirely dedicated to the painting.

The most comprehensive is the collection of the mid-to-late19th century Russian paintings. The Gallery holds the best collection of works by the Itinerants (Peredvizhniki) including Vasily Petrov, Ivan Kramskoy (who created a series of famous Russian writers’ portraits especially for the Gallery), Vladimir Makovsky, Viktor Vasnetsov, Alexey Savrasov, Ivan Shishkin, Vasily Polenov and many others. The Gallery features numerous paintings by Ilya Repin (author of Ivan the Terrible and His Son Ivan), Vasily Surikov (Boyarina Morozova), Vasily Vereschchagin, sculptures by Mark Antokolsky. The late 19th – early 20th century exposition displays the works by Isaac Levitan, Mikhail Vrubel, Valentin Serov, Konstantin Korovin, Boris Kustodiev, Nicholas Roerich and others. The Gallery also hosts a rich collection of the Soviet era artistic works.

Tretyakov Gallery was named after its founder – merchant Pavel Tretyakov, famous entrepreneur, patron of the arts and collector. Tretyakov had been interested in arts already in his young years, but the history of the Gallery began only in 1856, when he purchased his first two paintings. Pavel Mikhailovich was a great expert and appreciator of Russian visual arts, he supported many artists. Creating a national arts gallery was his dream, which he eventually brought to fruition using his own funds. The Gallery was opened in 1867 in the building, which Tretyakov had previously bought for his family. As the collection grew bigger new extensions were added to the building gradually.

In 1892 Pavel Tretyakov added to his collection the one of his diseased brother Sergey and donated to the city 1287 paintings and 518 drawings of the Russian school, 75 pictures and 8 drawings of the European school. His last will had only two conditions: entrance to the Gallery was to remain free of charge, and no further additions were to be made to the collection. Unfortunately, these conditions could not be adhered to by the future generations. After the passing of Pavel Tretyakov (he is buried at the Novodevichy Cemetery) the facade of the Gallery’s building was refurbished and decorated by famous artist Viktor Vasnetsov with tower-shaped elements. In 1980 a monument to Pavel Tretyakov, made in accordance to his portrait by Ilya Repin, was installed in front of the Gallery. The museum participates in the annual Night of Museums, when it welcomes visitors for free. But those wishing to use this chance should brace themselves for a long queue. Across the street from the Gallery a very cosy vegetarian Café Sok is found.

Address: 10 Lavrushinsky Lane (Lavrushinsky pereulok, 10)
Opening hours: Tue, Wed, Sun from 10 am to 6 pm (ticket offices and entrance to the exposition close at 5 pm), Thu-Sat from 10 am to 9 pm (ticket offices and entrance to the exposition close at 8 pm), closed on Mondays.
How to reach: Tretyakovskaya metro station
Coordinates: 55.741484, 37.620781