Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts.
The Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts
изобразительных искусств им. А.С. Пушкина) is the largest museum of European art in Moscow, located in
Volkhonka street, just opposite the Cathedral of
Christ the Saviour.
The museum's name is misleading, as it has nothing to do with the
famous Russian poet
. It was
founded by professor Ivan Tsvetaev (father of the poet Marina Tsvetaeva
). Tsvetaev persuaded the
and great philanthropist Yuriy Nechaev-Maltsov
fashionable architect Roman Klein
urgent need to give Moscow a fine arts museum.
Designed by Klein
, financed by Maltsov, the museum
building was constructed from 1898 to 1912. Tsvetaev's dream was
realised in May 1912, when the museum opened its doors to the
public. The museum was originally named after Alexander III
, although the
government provided only 200,000 rubles toward its construction, in
comparison with over 2 million from Nechaev-Maltsev. Its first
exhibits were copies of ancient statuary
thought indispensable for the education of art students. The only
genuinely ancient items - Moscow Mathematical Papyrus
Story of Wenamun
- had been
contributed by Vladimir
three years earlier.
Russian capital was moved to Moscow in 1918, the Soviet government
decided to transfer thousands of works from St Petersburg's
Museum to the new capital.
formed a nucleus of the Pushkin museum's
collections of Western art. But the most important paintings were
added later from the State Museum of New
. These comprised Impressionist
artwork, including top
works by Van Gogh
. In 1937, Pushkin's name was appended to the
museum, because the Soviet Union marked the centenary of the poet's
death that year.
World War II the evacuated Dresden Gallery had been stored in Moscow for 10 years.
Dresden collection was finally returned to East Germany, despite strong opposition from the museum
officials, notably Irina Antonova,
who has been running the museum since February 1961.
Pushkin Museum is still a main depositary of Troy's fabulous gold looted from Troy by the
German archaeologist, Heinrich
Schliemann and taken by the Soviet Army (Red Army) from the Pergamon Museum in Berlin.
The International musical festival Svyatoslav Richter's December nights
has been held in the Pushkin museum since 1981.