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The Tretyakov Gallery
by Orest Kiprensky.
Portrait of Alexander Pushkin
The Tretyakov Gallery dates from 1856, when the purchase of Nikolai Schilder's painting The Temptation saw the beginning of the collecting activities of the young, wealthy Moscow merchant, Pavel Tretyakov (1832 - 1898). Whereas his first acquisitions followed no clear pattern, paintings by Vasily Perov, added to the collection in the sixties, determined paths which the Gallery was to follow. There was to be a collection of Russian painting, the fulfillment of a historic mission - that of patriotic and moral education of the people.
by Vasily Tropinin.
Portrait of the Artist's Son
In 1917 the collection numbered 4,060 items. By the Decree of the Soviet government of June 3, 1918, signed by Lenin, the Gallery was nationalized. From a municipal museum, the Tretyakov Gallery was transformed into a state museum. In the twenties the Gallery was enlarged through the addition of the collections of the major Moscow collectors I. Ostroukhov and I. Tsvetkov, S.Shcherbatov, of paintings from the Historical Museum and works of art from palaces, estates and churches. During those years paintings by Western Europeans, mostly Dutch and French masters, were transferred from the Tretyakav Gallery to what is today the Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts. This made the collection of the Tretyakov Gallery more uniform and altered its structure. During the thirties the growth of the collection made it necessary to build another 16 new halls, which doubled the area of the former building. The most spacious hall was designed to accommodate the painting The Appearance of Christ to the People by Alexander Ivanov. This huge canvas, which marked a whole stage in the history of Russian painting, was handed over to the Gallery together with a rich collection of the painter's studies and sketches from the Rumiantsev Museum. At the same time, the Gallery received a number of works by Russian sculptors of the late 18th and early 19th centuries which started the beginning of a Department of Sculpture.
by Ivan Shishkin.
The Old Testament Trinity was considered to be the main icon of the TrinitySergius Monastery at Zagorsk;
the chronicles certify that Andrei Rubliov was its author (like all icon-painters of his time, Rubliov never signed his works). Another masterpiece attributed to him with rather a high degree of certainty is a series of icons for the iconostasis of the cathedral near the town of Zvenigorod, not far from Moscow.
The Gallery possesses outstanding Russian paintings of the 16th century, including icons attributed to Dionysius. The department's display concludes with works by the 17th century icon painters of the Kremlin Armory headed by Simon Ushakov.