Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts


located in Moscow, the second best collection (after the Hermitage in Leningrad) in the USSR of foreign art from ancient times to the present.

The Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts opened in 1912, developing from Moscow University’s Cabinet of Fine Arts, which was founded in the mid-19th century. Upon the initiative of Professor I.B. Tsvetaev, the cabinet was converted into a museum of art reproductions that was affiliated with the university. The museum remained under the university’s jurisdiction until 1923. Using private and public funds, a building was constructed for the museum by the architect R.I. Klein between 1898 and 1912. Many casts and copies of outstanding works of art were purchased; some were done on commission from the museum and have a unique character. Also included in the museum was the world-renowned collection of monuments from ancient Egypt, collected by the Egyptologist V.S. Golenishchev, a small number of Western European paintings, and a collection of ancient vases, coins, and medals.

During the Soviet period the museum’s collection has been supplemented by works from the former Rumiantsev Museum, the Hermitage, and the Tret’iakov Gallery (pictures by Western European artists from the collection of P.M. Tret’iakov and S.M. Tret’iakov), as well as from a number of private collections.

The prominent Soviet art scholars N.I. Romanov, V.N. Lazarev, and B.R. Vipper played a large role in the reorganization of the Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts into an important art museum and research center. The museum has preserved artistic monuments of the ancient East, ancient Greece (including works of art from the Urartu fortress of Erebuni in present-day Armenia and from the ancient cities of the northern Black Sea shore, which were discovered, for the most part, during archaeological excavations conducted by the museum), ancient Rome, Byzantium, and the countries of Western Europe. The picture gallery of the Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts has a large collection of works by 17th-century Dutch and Flemish painters including works by Rembrandt, J. van Ruisdael, G. Terborch, A. van Beyeren, A. van Ostade, J. Jordaens, F. Snyders, P.P. Rubens, and A. van Dyck. French painting of the 17th through the 19th century is well represented; there are works by N. Pous-sin, C. Lorraine, J.A. Watteau, F. Boucher, J.L. David, J.B. C. Corot, and G. Courbet. The Pushkin Museum has one of the world’s richest collections of paintings by the Barbizon school. The museum acquired a considerable part of the collections of the former Museum of Modern Western Art in 1948 and now houses one of the world’s best collections of works by French impressionists, as well as by P. Cezanne, P. Gauguin, V. van Gogh, H. Matisse, and P. Picasso. In its division of engraving and drawing, the museum has about 350,000 works (1971) by foreign and native graphic artists, including one of the most important collections by Soviet graphic artists. The museum conducts a great deal of scholarly research and popular education work. It also arranges exhibitions of works of art from Soviet and foreign museums. The Pushkin Museum has a large workshop for restoration.


Gosudarstvennyi muzei izobrazitel’nykh iskusstv imeni A.S. Pushkina: Katalog kartinnoi galerei. Zhivopis’. Skul’ptura. Moscow, 1961.
50 let Gosudarstvennomu muzeiu izobrazitel’nykh iskussvtv imeni A.S. Pushkina: Sbornik statei. Moscow, 1962.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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