Lviv Art Gallery (Picture Gallery)
Stefanyka St. 3
Price: 10 UAH
Working hours: in summer: from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.; in winter: from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; closed on Monday
The Lviv Picture Gallery is the largest art museum not only in Lviv, but in the whole Ukraine. Its collection, recognized as one of the richest in the country, numbers about 60 thousand exhibits, including unique works of art, sculpture, graphics, and decorative and applied arts, created by Ukrainian and West European artists in the 14th – 20th centuries. Annually, more than 350 thousand tourists from all over the world come to see the Lviv Picture Gallery’s valuable collection.
Museum’s history started in the late 19th century, when local intelligentsia initiated creation of the large gallery of West European art. City council supported this idea and bought the first exhibits for the future Art Museum, in 1902. These were the works by the famous Polish artists. However, gallery’s collection’s core was formed by the private collection of the West European art, purchased from a sugar magnate and collector from Volyn region. It numbered about two thousand varied works of art, including over 400 valuable paintings.
The Lviv Picture Gallery huddled in several modest rooms up until 1914, when it finally acquired its own house. Significantly enriched exposition moved to luxurious building, which formerly belonged to Lviv’s historian and collector Vladislav Lozinsky. In the following decades, museum’s funds were increased mainly through works by Polish painters; later, the Lviv Picture Gallery’s collection enlarged by nationalized collections of magnates and exhibits from several libraries. Renowned Russian Art Museums – Tretyakov Gallery in Moscow and the Russian Museum in St. Petersburg – contributed to the Lviv exposition as well.
By the end of the 20th century, the Lviv Art Gallery opened several branches and turned into real museum complex, where genuine masterpieces were kept. Today, its halls house works by artists from Italy and Spain, Holland and Germany, Hungary and the Czech Republic, Poland and France. There are unique paintings by world-known painters Peter Paul Rubens, Titian, and Francisco Goya among them. One of the largest divisions is the Russian Art division, where paintings by Ilya Repin, Arkhip Kuindji, Ivan Shishkin, Mikhail Vrubel, and other eminent painters are exhibited. The Lviv Art Gallery collection’s gem is the work ‘At the usurer's’ by one of the most mysterious West European artists – French painter Georges de La Tour. Only 32 of his works survived throughout the world, and one of them is located in the Lviv Art Gallery.
In addition to paintings, museum’s branches keep works of decorative and applied arts from different countries: furniture, samples of fireplaces, fabrics and carpets. Rare Chinese porcelain works and tapestries from Flanders are particularly valuable.