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The State Tretyakov Gallery

Lavrushinsky Lane10

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Admission
 

The All-Union (All-Russia since 1994) Museum Association of the State Tretyakov Gallery was founded in 1986. The Gallery’s main building is on Lavrushinsky Pereulok in the Zamoskvorechye  district where merchants traditionally settled in the 19th century. The Tretyakov family bought a house on Lavrushinsky Pereulok at the end of 1851.

Pavel Tretyakov purchased the first paintings in 1856 which formed the basis of the famous collection. As his collection grew, special outbuildings were built as wings attached to the main building’s living quarters to accommodate additional works of art. When Pavel died (1898) the building was redesigned by the karchitect V.Vasnetsov (1902-1904) and thus the private house was transformed into the great museum we see today which has been  visited by numerous generations since that date.

The Tretyakov Gallery on Lavrushinsky Pereulok is a huge museum complex today.

The Gallery’s historical building, houses Russian art from the 11th to the early 20th centuries. On display in the Old Russian Art section are icons by both unknown and famous icon painters from the 12th-17th centuries (including Theophanes the Greek, Andrei Rublev and Dionysius). The halls of the 18th – to the first half of the 19th century, display paintings by famous Russian masters, such as F.Rokotov, D.Levitsky, V.Borovikovsky, K.Bryullov and A.Ivanov…

The Gallery holds a wide-ranging collection of Russian Realism from the second half of the 19th century. Its masterpieces include famous paintings by I.Kramskoy,  I.Repin, V.Surikov, I.Shishkin, V.Vasnetsov, I.Levitan and many others. The brilliant display of works of art from the turn of the 19th-20th centuries include pieces by M.Vrubel,  V.Serov, masters of the World of Art, Union of Russian Artists and the Blue Rose groups.

The "Treasury" displays works made in precious metals and stones produced between the 12th to the early 20th century and plays a special role in the Tretyakov collection. On display are unique gilt and silver icon mounts (Kirill Ulanov. "The Assumption of the Virgin". 1702. Mount. Master M/LS, early 18th century); embroidery in gold and silver silk thread pearls and precious stones; a stone carving (double sided icon with The Prophet Elijah in the Wilderness on the front and St Nicholas on the back dating from the late 12th century); bone, wood carving, jewellery (C. Richard. Portrait of Catherine II as Minerva, 1789); miniatures (A.Chernov, Portrait of Grand Duchess Maria Fyodorovna, 1779) in gold frames and also intricately decorated books and church utensils (G.Master, Chalice, 1835).

Many exhibits are not only amazing works of art, but are also records of historical events. The collection includes a unique Byzantine mount from the late 13th - early 14th century for  the Russian "Virgin of Hodegetria" icon (late 15th-early 16th century) which was kept in the Trinity Monastery of St Sergei - most probably by Sophia Paleologue. The embroidered "ubrus" and "podvesnaya pelena" were made in the 16th century in the sewing rooms of Anastasia Romanovna – Ivan the Terrible’s first wife. They were given as ‘offerings’  by the Tsar and Tsarina, to the Suzdal-Pokrovsky monastery as supplication for an heir. They adorned the venerated icon of  "Our Lady with Child" which was also decorated with a pectoral cross, a precious tsata and a tiara and necklace dating from the 17th century. Works by these old Russian masters impress not only by their expression of deep piety, but also by the intricate detail of the works.

Of particular interest in the display are the icon mounts (for example on the ‘St John the Baptist appearing as the Angel of the wilderness’ icon by an unknown artist and dated from the late 17th to early 18th century as well as Bibles and church vessels from the 17th century. The very highest traditions are preserved in work by the 18th - early 19th century masters. The development of the precious metal industry in the late 19th century generated a number of outstanding workshops (including the world renowned Faberge company) where artists mastered all the intricate styles of decorative applied art. Examples of their work are displayed in the Treasury including that of Y Mishukov (The Tabernacle, 1912).

A special section in the Gallery is devoted to graphic art which cannot be exposed to direct sunlight. The halls are therefore illuminated with soft artificial light. Yet, because of the delicacy of the materials used, it is still not possible for the exhibits to be displayed on a permanent basis despite all these cautionary measures. . Nevertheless the Gallery has the largest collection of graphic art from the 18th to early 20th century in Russia. It comprises more than 20,000 drawings, water colours, pastels, numerous albums, more than 3,000 engravings and a small but extremely valuable collection of just over 300 portrait miniatures. The Gallery’s most valuable collection is a collection of Russian drawings and works by famous Russian artists portraying historical events.

The graphic art collection includes rare examples of drawings from the 18th century by A.Losenko, S.Shchedrin (Landscape with Ruins, 1799) and other masters who were at the forefront of the Russian drawing school. The Gallery’s collection boasts remarkable works by artists from the first half of the 19th century, such as: O.Kiprensky (Portrait of Prince S.P. Buturlin, 1824) and K.Bryullov (Horsemen. Portrait of E.I. Mussard and Y.I. Mussard, 1849). The Gallery is also proud of its tremendous collection of  A.Ivanov’s legacy which includes his nature studies, preparation drawings, genre and landscape water colours (Arbour Covered with Vines, 1840s – 1850s) and his famous Biblical Sketches. 

Drawing occupied an important place in the creative work of leading painters in the second half of the 19th century. The Gallery’s collection contains a lot of graphic art by I.Repin (Portrait of the Italian Drama Actress Eleanor Duze, 1891), V.Surikov (With a Guitar. Portrait of S.A. Kropotkina, 1882), I.Shishkin (The Pine Tree, 1890), A.Savrasov, F.Vasiliev (After the Rain, 1870), V.Serov et al.

The work of M.Vrubel deserves particular attention (The Rose, 1904), an unsurpassable drawer and master of water colours who had rare talent for imagination, impeccable taste and sharp individual manner.

The new period in the history of Russian graphic art is associated with names of the masters from the World of Art group, such as A.Benois, K.Somov (The Harlequin and the Lady, 1912) M.Dobuzhinsky, L.Bakst et al. The work of these artists is characterized, on the one hand, by nostalgia for the past, for the jubilant theatrical quality of the 18th century, and on the other by a search for a new illustrative language and interest in theatre, book illustration and monumental decoration.

To ensure that the extensive collection of graphic art is put on display a conveyor-like system of changing exhibitions has been devised. The visitor then has the opportunity to view the huge collection of graphic art.

 


 

The Depository – the Gallery’s storage facilities – is where works, not on display, are stored and is linked to the other side of the main Gallery building.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

Further away to the embankment, building No. 4 located on a former 17th – 19th century urban estate contains the Manuscript Department, the Tretyakov Gallery’s archive.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

A large red brick building rises at the other end of Lavrushinsky Pereulok near the Kadashevskaya embankment. This building is known as the "widows’ house" (Lavrushinsky Lane, 3).

It is a former shelter for widows and orphans of "poor Russian artists", the land and money to build it was bequeathed by P.Tretyakov.

The building was constructed between 1909 – 1912 by architect N.Kurdyukov; it was reconstructed by engineer I.Kurdyukov in 1931.