русская версия

The Russian Museum

About Exhibitions Collections Visitor info Shop Málaga branch Publications Events

History of The Russian Museum

Неизвестный художник. Император Александр III. 1880-1890. Инженерный замок.
Э.Липгарт. Император Николай II. 1914. Инженерный замок.
Торжественное открытие Русского музея Александра III 7 марта 1898. Художники-члены Академии художеств.
Михайловский дворец. Залы Русского музея.
Форма служителей музея, утвержденная в 1898 году.
Главный вестибюль Михайловского дворца. 1900.
Зал № ХVIII (ныне № 21). Древлехранилище. 1914.
Зал № ХIХ (ныне № 20). Древлехранилище.1914.
Зал № II (ныне № 37). Портретная живопись ХVIII века. 1910-е.
Зал № ХVIII (ныне № 21). Отделение христианских древностей. 1898.
Зал № II (ныне № 37). Портретная живопись ХVIII века. 1910-е.
Зал № ХХIV (ныне № 15). Ф.Бруни, А.Иванов. 1910-е.
Зал № ХХIII (ныне № 16). К.Брюллов.1920.
И.Репин. Николай Мирликийский избавляет от казни трех невинно осужденных. 1888.
Зал № ХХVI (ныне № 12). И.Крамской, М.Антокольский, 1920.
Главный вестибюль Михайловского дворца.
View other

The State Russian Museum is home to the world’s largest collection of Russian fine art. It was opened on March 7 (19) 1898 by decree of Tsar Nicholas II and was country’s first ever state museum of Russian fine art, which was able to present the visitors the whole history of its development. From the very beginning the collection was housed in the Mikhailovsky Palace, which was built for the Grand Duke Mikhail Pavlovich, son of Paul I.

The nucleus of the Museum collection consisted of oil painting, sculpture, graphic art, decorative and applied art. On the whole it was less than 1500 items mainly from the collections of the Hermitage, the Museum of the Academy of Arts and from the Royal Palaces. Some exhibits came from private collectors, for example the Prince Lobanov-Rostovsky collection was acquired from his heirs. The size of the Russian Museum collection almost doubled during the first decade of its existence. The Academy of Arts also transferred its collection of Christian Antiquities — five thousands items — including Novgorod icons, wooden sculpture and samples of the middle-century religious art. The Lobanov-Rostovsky collection donated to the Museum included 95 portraits of the Russian statesmen of the 18-19 centuries.

Another source of acquisitions was the collection from the Alexander Palace in Tsarskoye Selo (items from the Anichkov Palace entered the Museum much later).

Nikolai Likhachev donated his vast collection of Greek and Old-Russian icons.

A considerable part of fine artworks was presented to the Museum from the private collections. The October Revolution caused no damage to the Russian Museum collection. All the nationalized private collections and separate artworks were transferred to museums. During the first decade after the Revolution the Russian Museum collection grew several times compared to its original size. The ties of the Russian Museum with the Hermitage and the Tretyakov Gallery permitted mutually advantageous interchange of artistic treasures.

Nowadays the collection of the Russian Museum numbers some 400.000 works and covers the entire history of Russian fine art from the tenth century to the present day. It reflects virtually every form and genre of art in Russia, including a unique collection of Old Russian icons, works of painting, graphic art and sculpture, decorative and applied art, folk art and numismatics, as well as the world’s finest collection of Russian avant-garde.

Since 1976, the Russian Museum has been a National center coordinating the academic and methodological work of all the art museums of Russia. In 1992, the President of the Russian Federation signed a decree acknowledging the Museum as a special object of national cultural heritage.

Now the Museum is the owner of three more palaces in the center of St Petersburg, the Stroganov Palace, Marble Palace and St Michael’s Castle. Restoration work is  currently going on in each of these palaces. Nevertheless, all of them already house expositions and exhibitions from the collection of the Russian Museum.