Joy of Museums Virtual Tours

Virtual Tours of Museums, Art Galleries, and Historic Sites

Tretyakov Gallery

Tretyakov Gallery

Tretyakov Gallery

The State Tretyakov Gallery is an art gallery in Moscow, Russia, with a collection of more than 130,000 exhibits.

The gallery started in 1856 when the Moscow merchant Pavel Mikhailovich Tretyakov acquired works by Russian artists of his day intending to create a collection, which might later grow into a museum of national art.

The façade of the gallery building was designed by the painter Viktor Vasnetsov in a peculiar Russian fairy-tale style and built during 1902–04. During the 20th century, the gallery expanded to several neighboring buildings, including the 17th-century church of St. Nicholas in Tolmachi.

A Virtual Tour of the Tretyakov Gallery

Highlights of the Tretyakov Gallery

  • “The Vision to the Youth Bartholomew” by Mikhail Nesterov
    • “The Vision to the Youth Bartholomew” by Mikhail Nesterov was the first work in the artist’s series on Saint Sergius of Radonezh, a medieval Russian saint. The painting illustrates a famous episode from the life of the saint as a young boy whose baptismal name was Bartholomew. Bartholomew was an intelligent boy; however, he had great difficulty learning to read. His biography states that a spiritual elder met him one day and gave him a piece of prosphora (holy bread) to eat, and from that day forward, he was able to read. Orthodox Christians interpret the incident as being an angelic visitation.
  • “Bogatyrs” by Viktor Vasnetsov
    • “Bogatyri” by Viktor Vasnetsov depicts three of the most famous Russian bogatyrs, Dobrynya Nikitich, Ilya Muromets, and Alyosha Popovich. A bogatyr was a legendary hero in medieval East Slavic tales, akin to a Western European knight-errant. Vasnetsov has depicted Dobrynya Nikitich on the left sitting on a white horse with a white flowing mane, forelock, and tail. Dobrynya Nikitich is one of the most popular bogatyrs from Russian folklore. In the center is Ilya Muromets, who was famous for his strength and height, he later became a monk and saint. On the right is Alyosha Popovich, the youngest of the three medieval knights-errant.
  • “The Morning of the Streltsy Execution” by Vasily Surikov
    • “The Morning of the Streltsy Execution” by Vasily Surikov depicts the public execution of hundreds after the Streltsy’s failed uprising of 1698.  The scene is set before the walls of the Kremlin with the gallows in the background shown as wooden frames. Peter the Great is shown in his blue and gold-trimmed uniform on his horse supervising the executions by hanging. Surrounding the prisoners are family members despairing the impending execution of their family members. This large scale painting is a history painting illustrating real events that displayed the ruthlessness and determination of Peter the Great. In the background are the impressive colored onion domes of the Russian cathedral.
  • “Morning in a Pine Forest” by Ivan Shishkin and Konstantin Savitsky
    • “Morning in a Pine Forest” by Ivan Shishkin and Konstantin Savitsky depicts a coniferous forest, composed of evergreen trees with a mother bear and three cub bears. The pine and spruce trees emphasize the eternity of the natural world. The large dominant trees create the impression that the viewer is inside an impassable hidden thicket, where the bear family feels comfortable playing on a broken pine tree. Ivan Shishkin has painted some of the most beautiful landscapes in Russian art. His works are notable for the poetic depiction of seasons in the woods, wild nature, animals, and birds. It is believed that Shishkin painted the pine trees near Narva-Jõesuu in Estonia, where he often enjoyed spending his summers. Shishkin sought to identify and capture the sustainable values ​​of the landscape. A few years after this painting, he was appointed professor-director of the landscape class in the Academy’s Advanced Art School.

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Tretyakov Gallery

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“There is no subject so old that something new cannot be said about it.”
– Fyodor Dostoevsky


Photo Credit: A.Savin (Wikimedia Commons · WikiPhotoSpace) / CC BY-SA )via Wikimedia Commons

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