The Pushkin Fine Arts Museum
The Pushkin is Moscow's main collection of foreign art, and one of the world's most celebrated art museums. The collections number over 700,000 exhibits, including paintings, sculpture and modern works up to the 20th century.
- Leonardo da Vinci's painting The Mona Lisa was exhibited at the Pushkin Fine Arts Museum once – in 1974. It was the last time that the painting left its permanent home in Paris.
- The museum's own record number of visitors – 650,000, in 1981 – was set during the year the museum showed its 'Paris-Moscow 1900-1930' exhibition.
- The museum's original name was the Emperor Alexander III Museum. Such imperial names were out of fashion after the Revolution, and it was renamed as the Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts. Although named after the poet Pushkin, it shouldn’t be confused with the Pushkin Museum in Moscow - which is about the life and work of the poet.
- During the Second World War, the museum's priceless collections were evacuated to Novosibirsk and Solikamsk – far from the danger of attack during the years of 1941 to 1944. It proved a wise precaution – the museum building was hit during German bombardment, which destroyed the special glass ceilings installed to provide natural light, and was open to the elements for three years.
The museum's history dates to 1898, with the idea of creating a place for students to study copies of statues from ancient antiquity. The founder was Ivan Tsvetaev – a historian, and professor at Moscow University. The building work was funded by public subscription – the largest donation being made by the diplomat Yuri Nechaev-Maltsov. The opening ceremony in 1912 was attended by His Majesty Nicholas II, the Russian Tsar.
The original exhibits were plaster-cast facsimiles of ancient statuary, along with copies of ancient mosaics. The idea of including paintings only appeared after the Russian Revolution of 1917 – when many private collections in Russia were taken into state ownership.
Today the museum's collections feature a vast number of original works of classical antiquity, and painting collections of Old Masters. The museum also carries out scientific work, and holds cultural events.
What to see
- The Art of Ancient Egypt – stone and wooden sarcophagi, relief sculptures, precious metals and stones, papyrus art, vases, statues, and amulets.
- Sculpture – including around 600 works from the 16th to 21st centuries. These feature original works by Rodin, Bourdel, Goudon, and other major figures.
- King Priam's Treasure – the unique trove of items associated with King Priam, which was uncovered by the world-famous archaeologist Schliemann during his excavations at the site of the ancient city of Troy.
- Here they store seven paintings of Vincent van Gogh. Among them is one of his most famous paintings - The Red Vineyards near Arles.
- Pablo Picasso's Works, including well-known Girl on the ball.
- Works by French Impressionists and Post-Impressionists: Monet, Manet, Renoir, Degas, Cézanne, Gauguin, and many others.
- Italian and Dutch art (paintings by Botticelli, Caravaggio, Rubens, Rembrandt, van Dyck, Pieter Bruegel the Younger and others)
- And many others masterpieces of art.
- Paintings by Van Gogh
Guided Tour to The Pushkin Fine Arts Museum
You can book a tour in English on our website.