This gallery contains the largest and finest collection of Russian art in the world thanks to Pavel Tretyakov, a millionaire merchant, who in 1892 gifted his entire private collection to the city of Moscow. His brother followed suit and the collection has expanded ever since, particularly after the Revolution when several private collections were ‘nationalized’.
rnThe gallery houses the most superb collection of icons and pre-revolutionary art dating from the medieval period to the 20th century. There is in excess of 100,000 Russian works, but the gallery is now in dispute with the Church as much of the religious art was confiscated during Soviet rule and the Church would quite like it back.
rnOf particular interest is Surikov’s ‘Morning of the Execution of the Streltsy’ and Repin’s ‘Ivan the Terrible and His Son’. Along with his paintings, Tretyakov also generously donated his house and the surrounding buildings, which were united under a neo-Russian façade.
rnThe New Tretyakov Gallery is in the enormous Central House of Artists, opposite Gorky Park, and houses post-revolutionary work that encompasses everything from Socialist Realism, Constructivism and the Avant-Garde to 1930s Soviet kitsch and the underground art of the 1960s and ’70s. It is well worth a visit for admirers of 20th-century art (address: Krymsky Val 10, Zamoskvorechie).