Kyiv National Museum of Russian Art
Tereshchenkovskaya St. 9
Price: 30 UAH
Working hours: Tu, Fr - from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.; We, Sa, Su - from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Mo, Thu - closed
The National Museum of Russian Art, located in the ancient manor near the famous Shevchenko Park in Kyiv, is one of the largest and most interesting ones in the capital. Its unique collection that numbers over 12 thousand works of painting, sculpture, graphics, and decorative and applied arts is considered to be the third most important collection after the ones of the Tretyakov Gallery in Moscow and of the Russian Museum in St. Petersburg. Kyiv Museum's exposition not only introduces the classic masterpieces by the greatest painters, but also gives an idea about the history of Russian visual art development.
The Kyiv National Museum of Russian Art was opened in 1922 as a picture gallery. Its first exhibits were works of art, nationalized by the Soviet authorities after the civil war of 1917 and put together in special fund. At that time, museum collection's core was the private collection of Tereshchenko family, capital's renowned industrialists, philanthropists and benefactors. It was the largest inflow to the newly created picture gallery, which included the most valuable works of visual art. Famous works by the great Russian painters Shishkin, Vasnetsov, Vrubel, Vereshchagin and many others were among them.
Initially the funds of the Kyiv Picture Gallery, which in 1934 was renamed into the Museum of Russian Art, were pretty modest: exposition had about two hundred works that were exhibited in eight halls. These were predominantly works of painting, graphics and sculpture by Russian artists of the late 19th century. Later museum's collection was enlarged on account of donated private collections and works from other galleries and museums of Kyiv. As a result the collection of the National Museum of Russian Art not only significantly increased, but also became more complete, the exposition broadened its timeframe.
By the early 1940s the Kyiv Museum owned one of the most considerable collections of the Russian art in the country. Today its unique exposition numbers over ten thousand artistic valuables that are placed in 35 halls. Put together in historical-chronological order, it reflects the main development periods of the Russian art: from the 12th century to nowadays.
The impressive collection is divided into several sections: Old Russian icon painting, 18th century portraiture, the second half of the 19th century Russian painting; there are sections devoted to the art nouveau and symbolism, as well as paintings created in Soviet times. The real pride of the Kyiv Museum is its unique collection of paintings by the famous Russian master Mikhail Vrubel. It also features pictures by such famous artists as Repin, Vasnetsov, Roerich, Kustodiev, Surikov.