Pushkin State Museum of Fine Arts

Pushkinsky muzei

This is one of the major Russian museums of European and world arts. The first exhibits of the Museum – replicas of the antique masterpieces – were ordered from foreign workshops, where they were crafted using the casts made off the originals. Archaeological collection of the Museum consists of artefacts from ancient Egypt (including the world famous collection of Egyptologist Vladimir Golenishchev featuring Fayum mummy portraits, sarcophagi, mummies, vessels, armour, papyruses, and amulets), Mesopotamia, Urartu, and ancient Persia. The museum keeps artistic works from ancient Greece and Rome, precious collection of Byzantine icons, Renaissance sculptures and paintings, including pieces by Michelangelo and Botticelli. The Museum holds interesting works by the 17th and 18th century German, Dutch and Flemish artists, such as Peter Paul Rubens, Anthony van Dyck, Jan Brueghel, Rembrandt, Pieter Brueghel the Younger, Lucas Cranach the Elder. There are also halls dedicated entirely to the pieces by the 17th and 18th century Italian and Spanish artists, as well as French art collections of the 17th-19th century (Nicolas Poussin, Pierre Mignard, Sébastien Bourdon, Charles Le Brun).

The founder and the first director of the Museum was Moscow University professor Ivan Tsvetaev, father of the famous poetess Marina Tsvetaeva. The construction of the Museum was mostly funded by arts patron, factory owner, diplomat Yury Nechaev-Maltsov, who donated over 2 million roubles to this project of the total 2.6 million required. Nowadays the Museum keeps more than 600 thousand artistic works including paintings, drawings, sculptures, as well as archaeological, numismatic, craft, domestic and ethnographic artefacts, documents and photographs.

During World War II the exhibits had been evacuated from the Museum, and after the building’s glass roof was destroyed it remained under the open sky for three years. The top side of the Western facade still holds the marks left by bombs. In 1949-1953 the building was used for the Exhibition of Gifts to Joseph Stalin from the Peoples of the USSR and Foreign Countries. After Stalin’s death the Museum returned to its core function. In 2008 the Museum carried out a project dubbed Masterpieces on the Streets of Moscow, under which around 50 huge copies of the most famous paintings were placed on the facades of buildings in downtown Moscow. The Museum regularly hosts public lectures on visual arts, and participates in the annual Night of Museums, allowing visitors for free.

The Pushkin State Museum of Fine Arts incorporates Private Collections Department and Gallery of the 19th and 20th Century European and American Art. In the proximity you will also find Nicholas Roerich Museum, absolutely worth visiting.

Address: 12 Volkhonka Street (ulitsa Volkhonka, 12)
Opening hours: Tue, Wed, Fri-Sun from 11 am to 8 pm, Thu from 11 am to 9 pm, closed on Fridays.
How to reach: Kropotkinskaya, Borovitskaya metro stations
Coordinates: 55.747064, 37.605873