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Top-News  |  23. June 2016

160th ANNIVERSARY OF TRETYAKOV GALLERY

Highlights of the Anniversary

The Tretyakov Gallery in Moscow is known worldwide for the best collection of Russian art.  It is one of the best-known and favorite museums in Russia and celebrated its 160th anniversary this year.

The beginning of the collection goes back to May 22, 1856. In the middle of the 19th century, the Russian textile merchant and art collector Pawel Tretyakov began to buy paintings by Russian artists, most of all contemporary artists. Over the years, the collection became so big that Tretyakov had a new building constructed close to his house. The historical building is now the main building of the Tretyakov Gallery. In 1892 he offered his own collection and the collection of his brother who had passed away, to the state of Moscow, and made the establishment of a public art museum possible.

The house was continuously extended over the years. The integration of collections from other museums and diverse private collections in the 20s lead to a considerable increase in the museum’s inventory so that the gallery had to be extended because of lack of space. In the 80s the museum was strongly modified and extended to cope with the large numbers of visitors and to better display the grown collection.

Today, Tretyakov Gallery's collection at Krimskij Wal comprises round 140.000 artworks of which only a small part can be shown permanently. Regularly there are changing exhibitions that show the different treasures of the gallery. The works cover the period from the 11th century to the beginning of the 20th century. In 1986 a section of modern art, which presents art from the late 20th century, opened. It is located in a new building at the Moskwa, directly across the main entrance of the Gorki-Park.

Many exhibitions and activities are planned on the occasion of the gallery’s 160th anniversary. One of the highlights is the exhibition for the 200 anniversary of Russian marine painter Iwan Aiwasowski. He is regarded as the most important painter of seascapes throughout the world. The exhibition takes place from July 29 to November 20, 2016.

A unique art exchange was organized in cooperation with the Portrait Gallery in London in order to celebrate the 160-year existence of both institutions. London received some of Tretyakov most famous portraits and Moscow received important artworks of the English history and culture. The portraits can be seen until July 23, 2016, at the exhibition “From Elizabeth to Victoria. English Portrait from the Collection of the National Portrait Gallery, London”.

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