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Off we go to the Tretyakov gallery to discover the Russian art

Tretyakov gallery.

Lavrushinsky Lane became famous due to the merchant Tretyakov who built here the special building for the extensive collection of pictures and opened it for public viewing. The collection of cloths can be really called a unique one – you can see great works of the Russian masters of various periods, track historical changes of the Russian art, understand views of artists of the paintings, learn more about the way the great people saw the world and for sure it is simple to derive esthetical pleasure from acquaintance to recognized masterpieces of the fine arts!

A short overview to the history of Tretyakov gallery

One of the largest world collections of the Russian art was based by the patron, the merchant and the millionaire Pavel Mikhailovich Tretyakov. He got the first cloths for the meeting in far 1856, and only ten years later the gallery opened for intensive public visit. In 1892 the owner made one more grand gesture – he transferred the gallery to the city's possession including the building so that everyone had an opportunity to join art.

History of Tretyakov gallery.

In the first years of the twentieth century the facade of the building was reconstructed according to Vasnetsov's sketches and is now again open for visit, however the revolution made the corrections to the future of gallery. After all national disorders settled down, the collection was nationalized, and infinite reorganizations of gallery began – even the closed Saint Nikolay's church in Tolmachakh has become attached to it!

After that the gallery went through one more trial – the war. The most part of cloths and statues had to be evacuated urgently to the remote Areas of Siberia where they safely went through difficult times to return and unite with the State art gallery in Krymski Val where the main exposition was transferred to.

How to reach the Tretyakov gallery

How to reach the Tretyakov gallery.

There are two main buildings of the Tretyakov gallery:

• Historical building of the Tretyakov gallery

It is located in house No. 10 on Lavrushinsky Lane. The easiest way to reach it – to use services of the subway and to pass to the Tretyakovskaya station. You can leave according to indexes from the station and practically at once will get to the museum building.

• New Tretyakov gallery

It settles down in house No. 10 on Krymski Val. It is also possible to reach it by the subway – you go to the Park Kultury station and move according to indexes.

13 curious facts about the Tretyakov gallery

13 curious facts about the Tretyakov gallery.

1. Tretyakov came to the Russian art not at once.

The merchant Pavel Tretyakov always loved art and thought of painting much, but in youth he could not even think that he will collect the largest collection of cloths of the Russian masters of a brush. The merchant had never painted pictures and didn't have outstanding art talents, but at early age he began to collect engravings and illustrations. Generally, he collected them in the Sukharevsky market – the favourite place for Sunday walks. A bit later he accidentally acquired eleven graphic works and nine pictures of old masters from the Netherlands.

2. Tretyakov admitted the plans for creation of the museum in his last will

Surprisingly, but the merchant wrote the first will in only 28 years old when he was going to go abroad to study Flax weaving technologies at the Western European factories. He was obliged to do it by traditions of those years and certain arrangements with partners. Young Tretyakov distributed the property and inheritance, and its most part was selected for the infrastructure of art museum. This characterised him as a person "truly and ardently loving painting" according to his own view.

3. Actually Tretyakov created the collection not totally alone

Two persons – Sergey and Pavel Tretyakov laid a hand to creation of the unique collection at once. The younger brother of the merchant - Sergey - was fond of collecting later than Pavel, and began with cloths of the western painters, generally – the French masters. The collection was small and was located in Sergey's mansion – only guests of the house could see it, and only some cloths were exposed in gallery of the elder brother. Unfortunately, Sergey Tretyakov died at early age. Nevertheless, all his collection, according to the will, was departed in property to the city, and it made Pavel also to transfer the collection of cloths to Moscow together with the mansion in which it was located.

4. The senior Tretyakov's rivalry with the emperor

Tretyakov was very active in search of cloths for replenishment of the collection. He quite often bought works from artists long before the beginning of exhibitions, and Alexander III was often indignant that the best cloths in galleries were already noted as Pavel Tretyakov's property. Rivalry was so active that even after Alexander's death his brother Nikolay redeemed the picture "Conquest of Siberia by Yermak" which was Alexander's great dream, for the record sum of 40 thousand rubles. Tretyakov by all means wanted to kill a rate but had not managed to do it, and the cloth went to imperial gallery.

5. The Tretyakov gallery was closed for 16 years in total

Of course, the break did not happen at once. The first closing for two years happened because of the theft of four cloths that became the present tragedy for Pavel (the truth, two cloths after all were succeeded to return). After that the gallery was closed for four years because of war – the cloths were safely saved for it in Novosibirsk and in the Molot city. Then the gallery suspended its work for ten years because of reconstruction.

6. Relentless growth of an exposition

At the time of the ceremonial opening the Tretyakov gallery it contained 1276 pictures, 471 drawings, 10 sculptures of the Russian masters and also 84 works of foreign artists and architects. For the entire period of existence of the Tretyakov gallery its collection grew almost by 50 times.

7. The historical building was nearly demolished

Ten years ago the city authorities seriously discussed demolition of the building of the Tretyakov gallery because of a deplorable state, but, fortunately, refused to do it. The building is under repair, the organization of expositions is reconsidered, work on improvement of navigation of halls and increase in comfort for visitors is conducted nowadays. Moreover, the house where Pavel and Sergey Tretyakov were born is on restoration now as well & everyone will be soon able to visit this amazing place.

8. Tretyakov could found one more museum

The interesting story left with pictures of the artist Ge. All of his significant works were transferred to Tretyakov by the master's sons, and Pavel promised them to construct Ge's Museum. However, the destiny disposed it all in its own way, and the merchant did not manage to carry out the plans because of a sudden death.
One more strange story belongs to Ge's cloth "What is truth?". After the radiographic research of 2011 it became known that under a paint coat there is a picture "Mercy" painted by Ge for 10 years before the "truth". Even more surprising is the fact that under "Mercy" there were traces of the third picture – one of Crucifixions variants.

9. Tretyakov's fight against censorship

Pavel Tretyakov was an open-minded person and considered that in order to understand some things, people need time, and sometimes considerable time. The merchant bought up not only recognized masterpieces, but also the cloths forbidden by censorship to support artists in their freedom of creativity. Among such "forbidden" cloths there were "A rural religious procession during the Easter" of Perov, "Ivan the Terrible and his son Ivan on November 16, 1581" Repin, and a set of other pictures. However, Tretyakov did not seek to go counter to the power, and at the request of ruling at exhibitions closed "obscene" pictures with a calico until their hour of triumph comes.

10. Keepers of the museum, devoted up to the end

The dark story that happened to a gloomy picture of Repin "Ivan the Terrible and his son Ivan on November 16, 1581". At first the picture was forbidden to display by the emperor Alexander, but the display after all was resolved it played a dirty trick with a cloth. In 1913 it was attacked. The insane icon painter attacked a picture with a knife and struck three blows which disfigured a masterpiece. The artist Repin came to the city to restore a picture, but it did not manage to do it. Some restorers got down to that task & successfully returned the cloth to its original form. Repin confirmed that it is completely identical to the source code. However, the horrors connected with a cloth did not end. The keeper of the museum Egor Hruslov considered himself guilty of the incident and was so much disappointed in himself that did not sustain anguish and rushed under the train.

11. Chronologically exact exposition

Due to the artist Igor Grabar who was elected in 1913 as the trustee of the museum, an ideal order was brought to an exposition. Each artist had a personal hall, and all halls submitted to the general chronological principle. Any visitor without effort will understand the sequence the pictures were painted and will see how the perception of each artist changed over time.

12. The temple as a part of a museum complex

In 1929 antireligious moods promptly gained steam, temples and churches were closed, and the church of the Prelate Nikolay in Tolmachakh did not become an exception. In several years after closing the building was taken by the Tretyakov gallery as store rooms, and later was attached to the main building by the two-storeyed corps where Ivanov's picture "The Appearance of Christ Before the People" was exposed. Today the temple carries a rank of house church at the museum and shows the visitors unique shrines and icons.

13. Unusual windows

The new corps in which windows have the different forms and the sizes is under construction in a museum complex in Lavrushinsky Lane. This process seems strange if you do not know about the arrangement and the sizes of windows. They completely imitate a hand painted weighing of pictures in the first gallery of Tretyakov.

What surely should be shown in the halls of Tretyakov gallery to a guest of Moscow

"The Rooks Have Come Back " Savrasov

Scientists do not know a lot about the history of creation of this masterpiece, however several facts after all are known. Alexey Savrasov painted the well-known picture during a quite difficult vital period. His new-born daughter died and the wife was seriously ill, and it became the reason of the choice of quite gloomy colour scale which is a match for feelings of the artist. It is also known that Savrasov for many times tried to repeat the masterpiece, but it did work. The artist ended his way, painting walls of taverns with reproductions of his picture for food and alcohol.

"Black square" by Malevich

One of the most scandalous and ambiguous pictures of a brush by Kazimir Malevich still haunts art critics. The author said that creation of a cloth took several months, and there is a theory that the artist simply did not manage to finish work in time and covered it with black paint. After improbable success of a cloth Malevich created some more squares (some sources claim that there are seven all in all), but it is possible to see only four today – two of them are presented in the Tretyakov gallery, one is in the Hermitage and one is in the Russian Museum. All squares differ with shades, the sizes and the invoice.

It is impressive that under the black paint of the main square two more pictures of Malevich – one of the cub futuristic period, and the second – from protosuprematist are hidden. They were found at a radiographic research, as well as a comical inscription by the artist's hand "Fight of negroes at night".

"Morning in a Pine Forest " by Shishkin

This picture is probably known to everyone. It is called by "three bears" in the people though there are actually four bears on the cloth. The picture is obliged by the second name to popular Soviet candies "Clumsy bear". The design of a wrapper is the reproduction of the well-known cloth with only one inaccuracy. The fourth bear just was not located in wrapper "shot".

But it is not the main mystery of "Morning in a pine forest". The matter is that there are two authors of the picture. Shishkin is the one who created a background and sketches of bears and Savitsky who painted the bear family. As a result, after the sale of the picture Tretyakov gave all sum of money to Shishkin, and then totally removed a surname of Savitsky from the signature to a cloth as he considered it to be truly "Shishkin's only". When Savitsky came to Shishkin for the share from sale, he was offered a quarter of the sum as Shishkin considered that the main work was made by him, and without bears the cloth would not be worse at all. Savitsky took offense and did not deal with Shishkin anymore. Here is how plain the friendship of two artists ended.

It is possible to see a cloth in hall No. 25 on the second floor of gallery.

Rublyov's "The Trinity"


One of the main icons in the history of Russia is stored in the end of a suite of halls of icon-painting art on the first floor (hall 59).

"Girl with peaches" Serov

The well-known picture in gentle tones of a brush by Serov is located in hall No. 40 in gallery of the Silver age on the first floor. The picture adjoins to Polenov, Nesterov and Levitan's cloths. By the way, the whole two halls are devoted to Serov's works.

Vasnetsov's "Giants"


Vasnetsov became famous for the love to fairy tales and folklore. There are Dobrynya Nikitich, Ilya Muromets and Alyosha Popovic in his paintings, who are some of the best-known characters in Russia. They are proudly looking afar and as if always ready to accept a summons for fight during any instant. There are two more "fantastic" works of Vasnetsov – "Alyonushka" and "Ivan Tsarevitch on the Grey wolf". You can see the cloths in hall No. 26.

"Apotheosis of war" by Vereshchagin

The terrible and oppressing picture of the burned soil and skulls casts horror in front of the ruthless hammer of war beating the peaceful earth. The picture belongs to the cycle "Barbarians" written under an impression of the war in Turkistan. There is a version that during the war the women of Baghdad told Tamerlan that their husbands betrayed them, and then Tamerlan ordered to each soldier to bring at least one chopped-off head of traitors each. So, several mountains of human skulls were formed.

The Appearance of Christ Before the People
The Appearance of Christ Before the People.

The personal hall in gallery is allocated to a masterpiece – the cloth is surrounded with the numerous sketches devoted to it only. By the way, the guides warn that people faint most often facing this masterpiece. Perhaps, the reason for that is a sincere delight or a reverential awe. It is possible to see a cloth in hall No. 10 on the second floor of gallery.

"Ivan the Terrible and his son Ivan on November 16, 1581" Repin

In hall No. 31 there is a disputable cloth which was not given freedom for a long time and in every possible way hidden from the public eyes. Disputes on correctness of a picture still continue, but one can be told precisely. It is true that the artist put many forces in the cloth, real emotions and hopelessness. Full of a grief the despair of the father who realized the fatal act is read in dark, gloomy tones of a background and mad eyes.

"Mismatch" by Pukirev

Touching and sad cloth by Pukirev is in hall No. 16. The plot of a picture is relevant for times of life of the artist. It is devoted to a marriage of convenience, but not on love where the groom is old, but is rich, and the bride is young and beautiful, but is too poor to choose herself the groom for soul. It is rumoured that the plot of a picture is autobiographical: the bride Pukireva was married violently to the elderly rich prince, and the artist represented himself in the form of a young man with the crossed hands behind the back of the girl. By the way, at the picture has an interesting exposition – people on the party of the bride are represented as young and pleasant, and on the party of the groom – repellent and frightening that hints at immemorial reflections about collision of the good and evil.

"Princess Tarakanova" by Flavitsky

The last minutes of life of the false daughter empress Elizabeth Petrovna are represented on the cloth. The real name of the princess Tarakanova is unknown, and the official version of her death is the disease dangerous at that time – a tuberculosis. However, the national version to which the artist adhered as well said that the adventurer left life during the flood in St. Petersburg. She rolled in the locked camera in the cellar of the Peter and Paul Fortress.

"Hunters on a halt" by Perov

The cloth with an easy and cheerful plot can be connected with the well-known "Notes of the hunter" by Turgenev. Three hunters are represented on the picture – the senior tells the invented story, the youngest willingly believes in it, and the man of average years only laughs of an idea. You can see the cloth in hall No. 17.

Kramsky's "The Unknown"


The well-known cloth is in hall No. 20 and represents the great rich lady in crew. Surprisingly, but historians did not manage to identify the stranger's personality, and she remained a riddle for the whole world. By the way, Kramsky was always a supporter of a non-standard view of painting. He became one of the founders of society of "peredvizhniki", artists who organized mobile exhibitions, having refused of academism.

"The portrait of an unknown man in a cocked hat" by Rokotov

An excellent portrait of the young man with very gentle features still causes a controversy and questions at art critics. There are two versions of the one who is actually represented on a cloth. The first version says that the count Bobrinsky – the son of Ekaterina the Second - is depicted on the painting. The second version is far more romantic and is at the same time sadder. According to it, initially the woman, the wife of the close friend of the artist was represented. The woman died in early age, and the widower married for the second time, but did not want to leave a portrait, then Rokotov added man's clothes to a portrait, having turned it into a portrait of an unknown young man not to upset the young wife of the friend. By the way, radiographic examination confirms this version – under the top paint coat to which the man's wear is written, the ladies' brooch and a decollate were found.

"Boyar Morozova" by Surikov

The cloth is in hall No. 28 and narrates a quite sad story. The boyar Feodosiya Morozova was an adherent of Old Belief and a follower of the archpriest Habakkuk. She flatly refused to accept new belief because of what there was a conflict with the Tsar. The moment when the boyar was captivated and was carried on sledge to the square to jail is imprinted on a cloth. The woman throws up two fingers meaning that her belief is unshakable. Only one and a half years later Morozova died in earth prison from exhaustion.

"The unexpected visitors" by Repin

There are two variants of this picture. The return home of ta student girl was written by oil on a tree and represented earlier. The latest variant was written on a canvas and shows the return of a man home from political exile. There are various emotions on the faces of characters of the picture: the joy of the wife, vigilance of the daughter, mistrust of the maid and the deepest shock of elderly mother are read.
Today both variants of the cloth can be seen in the collection of the Tretyakov gallery.

"Bathing of a red horse" by Petrov-Vodkin

The picture with an unusual plot struck contemporaries with the fatefulness. The red horse acts as Russia which the young and fragile horseman tries to bridle. The artist literally told the "red" fortunes of the country in the twentieth century. The surprising fact is that both main characters had real prototypes – the horse was copied from a stallion the Boy as a nickname, and the young man – from the pupil of the artist, Sergey Kalmykov.

Certainly, it is only a small part of treasures of the Tretyakov gallery. In each hall you will find exceptional, disputable, sometimes frightening and unimaginably excellent pictures of the Russian masters!


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