The State Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts houses the second-largest collection of foreign art in Russia, after the Hermitage in Saint-Petersburg. Art lovers can find here over 670,000 paintings, sculptures, drawings, works of applied art, archaeological artefacts and coins from antiquity to modern days.
The initial idea to create an art museum for the general public where everybody would be able to see and appreciate the masterpieces from all over the world belongs to Ivan Tsvetaev, a professor at Moscow University and father of the great Russian poet Marina Tsvetaeva. High quality replicas and plaster casts were moulded directly from original art works in workshops abroad and then transported to Moscow. To house the museum the magnificent palace with an antique ionic imposing colonnade was built by architect Roman Klein and was officially opened on 31 May 1912.
From the museum of replicas and copies the palace in Volkhonka Street has quickly developed into a museum of original treasures. Nowadays the Pushkin State Museum of Fine Arts is housed in three buildings:
1. Main building:
*Exhibition of casts made of sculpture and architectural monuments, including casts of works from the Near East, the Classical world, the Middle Ages and the Italian and Northern Renaissance;
*Section containing original works of art and cultural artefacts from Ancient Civilizations, including Schliemann’s “Troy treasure”;
*Gallery of pictures from the 8th to the 20th century, including works by European Old Masters, Byzantine icons and ancient mosaics.
2. Gallery of Art from the Countries of Europe and America – 19th and 20th centuries;
3. Museum of Private Collections, mostly Russian artwork of the late 19th and early 20th centuries.
The State Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts houses one of Russia's largest collections of foreign art - over 670,000 paintings, sculptures, drawings, works of applied art, archaeological artefacts and coins from antiquity to modern days. These extensive collections include high quality replicas and plaster casts of the works of antiquity, the Middle Ages and the Renaissance, as well as original works of painting, sculpture, graphics and arts and crafts.