The Tretyakov Gallery, founded by Pavel Tretyakov (1832 – 1889), a Moscow merchant and art patron, is a national treasury of Russian pre-revolutionary and Russian art. The Gallery’s centenary was widely celebrated throughout Russia in May 1956. Tretyakov spent his life collecting the works of Russian painters, which reflected the spirit and ideas of all progressive and intellectual of his day. He began his collection in 1856 with the purchase of “Temptation” (1856) by N. Shilder and “Finnish Smugglers” (1853) by V. Khudyakov. These paintings are on permanent exhibition. In order that his collection better reflect the centuries-old traditions of Russian art he acquired works of various epochs and also began a collection of antique icons. Tretyakov was one of the few people of his time who realized the great intrinsic value of ancient Russian art. He was on friendly terms with many progressive, democratic Russian painters, frequenting their studious, taking an active interest in their work, often suggesting themes for new paintings, and helping them financially. His collection grew rapidly.
The collection has grown considerably in the years since the Revolution. In 1893 it consisted of 1805 works of art, but by now the number had increased to more than 35000.
Tretyakov was aware of the national importance of his vast collection of Russian art and presented it to the city of Moscow in 1892, thus establishing the first museum in Russia.
The Tretyakov Gallery is a national treasure of Russian art. The best of various periods and schools can be seen here. Works by Rublev and Dionysius, Ivanov, Bryullov, Fedotov, Venetsianov, Perov, Aivazovsky, Kramskoi, Vasnetsov, Vereshchagin, Vrubel, Savrasov, Levitan and Yaroshenko are exhibited in the Gallery’s 54 halls.
By special decree of the Soviet Government, Issued on June 3, 1918 and signed by V. I. Lenin, the Gallery was designated one of the most important educational establishments of the country. It was also decreed that the name of its founder be retained in honour of Tretyakov’s great services to Russian culture.
Address: 10, Lavrushinsky Pereulok
Open: 10.00 – 19.00