Author: Nagovitsyna Mariia

If you enjoy art, museums are probably attracting you like

a magnet and you are drawn not only to the most famous

galleries in the country or maybe you are even ready to

spend an hour or two in a local museum of , where you found

yourself on a business trip or visiting relatives. I have a list

of my favorite museums in Russia which leave a pleasant



365 halls. 20 kilometers. 3 million exhibits.

The Hermitage is the most-visited museum in Russia and it is

a home to the largest painting collection in the world! It welcomes

around 4 million visitors per year. In early days, the

Hermitage was hardly the museum as we know it today. The

original meaning of the French word “ermitage” is “a place

where hermit lives”, “a place of solitude”. In the 18th century

Catherine the Great undertook to create a private art collection,

but it was growing rapidly, so the public was soon invited

to visit the Imperial Hermitage. Nowadays the gallery space

displays paintings by almost all prominent masters of Western

Europe. The Hermitage contains the masterpieces of Rembrandt

and Raphael, Giorgione and Rubens, Titian and Van

Dyck. Moreover, this is the only opportunity to see the works

of Leonardo da Vinci in Russia.

As experts calculated: if you stay just for a minute at each exhibit

in the Hermitage, it will take 8 years without sleep or rest

to see everything. That is why museum tours are jokingly called

art fi tness! Therefore, it is recommended to divide it into

several visits.

The Madonna of the Conestabile by Raphael

is one of the most famous Renaissance masterpieces.

Alexander II purchased this painting

in Italy for his beloved wife. The public

in Italy was outraged that their heritage was

leaving the country. They blamed the owner,

Count Conestabile, and persuaded him to

call off the deal. Italian society even tried to

raise enough money to buy back the masterpiece

and leave it at homeland, but it was unsuccessful.

Since then, the painting has been

on exhibit in the Hermitage.


The Hermitage not only delights, but also

inspires. After visiting it Pavel Tretyakov was

excited about having his own collection of

paintings. As a result, the Tretyakov Gallery

became one of the world’s most signifi cant

collections of works by Russian artists ranging

from 11th to the early 20th centuries.

Even the famous central facade is the creation

of Victor Vasnetsov.

You can visit the Tretyakov Gallery many

times, but not because of a gigantic collection.

At the beginning of the 20th century, its

director put a lot of paintings into the storage

to let more air into the gallery and freely

enjoy masterpieces. As a fi rst-class magician,

the Tretyakov Gallery now and

then pulls something “tasty”

out of its sleeve from these

storerooms. To see its treasures,

more than 2.5 million of

people come every year to one

of the most ancient districts of



For visitors anxious to uncover

the mysteries of Russian art

treasury, The Russian Museum

is the place to start. The exposition,

located in 5 palaces of St. Petersburg,

includes paintings, the names of which have

long become common nouns, such us: „The

Last Day of Pompeii”, „Barge Haulers on the

Volga” and „The Ninth Wave” by Bryullov,

Repin and Aivazovsky. The world’s largest

collection of Russian art was created by an

imperial decree at the end of the 19th century.

The permanent collection numbered 400

000 works, covering the entire history of

Russian fi ne art. The Russian Museum is

ready for experiments, which confi rms the

presence of the latest art trends. The image

is complemented by unusual exhibitions. For

instance, in 2013 it was an exhibition of artwork

by Sylvester Stallone. The actor paints

in the spirit of expressionism.


You can fi nd the works of Rembrandt and

Rubens not only in the Hermitage. Therefore,

if you love the old masters, and you

are closer to Moscow than to St. Petersburg,

then this place is for you. The main building

of the Pushkin Museum is the Museum of

European and World Art, dated from ancient

times to modern days. It was opened in

1912. The most European museum in Russia

is located in the heart of Moscow in a building

that resembles an ancient temple, where every

hall is an era. There are Italian and Greek

courtyards, a collection of six thousand original

exhibits of Ancient Egypt, collected during travels

and excavations.

The famous Troy treasure, discovered by Heinrich

Schliemann, is also kept in this museum.

As a child, the German archaeologist read

Homer’s Iliad and later found a city covered

in legends. It’s impossible to get a complete picture

of the Pushkinsky museum. Indeed, out

of 670,000 exhibits, no more than 2% are exhibited.



The Art Gallery of Europe and America is part

of the Pushkin Museum. Moreover, it is located

in a neighboring building. But don’t be tempted

to visit both buildings on the same day. Otherwise,

you are guaranteed a severe spiritual

hangover. The collection here is unique, which

contains Impressionist and Post-Impressionist

masterpieces. This collection can only be compared

with the Orsay Museum in Paris



Russian impressionism is a

phenomenon that is still argued

about: whether it existed

at all. You should come

to this museum to fi nd out

the answer! In general, this

museum has special atmosphere.

For example, at the

exhibition „Wives” (portraits

of artists’ wives ), each painting

had jars with smells

that complemented the plot.

If the table is set it was a jar

with the smell of herbal tea. For wildfl owers

it was the smell of cornfl owers.



This is one of the fi rst museums in Russia.

The Radishchev Museum in Saratov is

older than the Tretyakov Gallery and the

Pushkin Museum. The professor of the

Academy of Arts collected unique works

by European and Russian artists and gave

it to the city. Alexander III supported him

and even donated several works from the

Hermitage. It also contains the works by

Petrov-Vodkin, Borisov-Musatov, Grabar,

Kustodiev and also the work of Giorgio Vasari,

a contemporary of Michelangelo and

the fi rst art critic in history. In Russia you

can fi nd his works only in the Hermitage.

Art galleries mentioned above are places

where you can take a fascinating journey

through the history of painting. You will

not only get aesthetic pleasure, but also see

what different tasks the painting performed

in different eras. Moreover, throughout

the year, the expositions are constantly

updated and thematic exhibitions

are held!