in Moscow, the world’s largest museum of Russian and Soviet art.
The Tret’iakov Gallery is named for its founder, P. M. Tret’iakov, who started his painting collection in 1856. Tret’iakov’s goal was the establishment of a museum of Russian art that was accessible to the public. His acquisitions were mainly works by democratic artists, especially works by the peredvizhniki (the “wanderers”—a progressive art movement). The nature of his acquisitions determined the character of the museum, as well as the museum’s impact on the development of Russian realist art and the museum’s social and educational role in Russia. In 1892, Tret’iakov gave the city of Moscow his collection and the collection bequeathed to him by his brother, S. M. Tret’iakov. Until 1918 the museum was called the P. Tret’iakov and S. Tret’iakov Moscow City Museum of Art. That same year V. I. Lenin signed a decree of the Council of People’s Commissars to nationalize the gallery.
The collection of the Tret’iakov Gallery grew extensively in the Soviet period: the number of works rose from about 4,000 in 1917 to 55,000 in 1975. The gallery enlarged its collection by absorbing the collection of the Museum of Iconography and Painting (the former I. S. Ostroukhov collection), the Tsvetkov Gallery (housing the most valuable collection of Russian drawings), the collection of Russian painting from the Rumiantsev Museum, and several nationalized private collections. The gallery’s collection is expanded regularly through planned state purchases.
The Tret’iakov has collections of painting, graphic art, and sculpture, as well as a number of works of decorative and applied art. Russian (11th through early 20th centuries) and Soviet art are represented. There is a superb collection of old Russian paintings from the 11th to 17th centuries. Acquired mostly in the Soviet period, these works include Andrei Rublev’s Trinity and works by Dionisii and S. Ushakov. The gallery also has a good collection of 18th-century portraitists, including the sculptor F. I. Shubin and the painters F. S. Rokotov, D. G. Levitskii, and V. L. Borovikovskii. Also of note is the collection of early–19th- century painting, which includes various compositions by A. G. Venetsianov and P. A. Fedotov and portraits by O. A. Kiprenskii, V. A. Tropinin, and K. P. Briullov. A. A. Ivanov’s The Appearance of Christ Before the People and numerous studies for it are housed at the museum.
Especially well represented is Russian painting of the late 19th century. The museum has the best collection of works by the peredvizhniki, including works by V. G. Perov, I. N. Kramskoi, G. G. Miasoedov, K. A. Savitskii, V. E. Makovskii, V. M. Vas-netsov, A. K. Savrasov, I. I. Shishkin, and V. D. Polenov. There are numerous works by I. E. Repin (including The Unexpected and Ivan the Terrible and His Son Ivan), V. I. Surikov (including The Morning of the Streitsy Execution, Men’shikov at Berezovo, and The Boiarynia Morozova), V. V. Vereshchagin, and M. M. Antokol’skii.
The late 19th and early 20th centuries are represented by works of I. I. Levitan, M. A. Vrubel’, V. A. Serov, K. A. Koro-vin, M. V. Nesterov, B. M. Kustodiev, and N. K. Rerikh. There are also works by artists of the World of Art (A. N. Benois and K. A. Somov), the Union of Russian Artists, the Blue Rose, and the Jack of Diamonds.
The Tret’iakov Gallery has excellent collections representing all the stages of development of Soviet multinational art. There are works by N. A. Andreev, Z. I. Azgur, S. A. Chuikov, A. A. Deineka, A. M. Gerasimov, S. V. Gerasimov, I. E. Grabar’, T. N. Iablonskii, B. V. Ioganson, K. V. Iuon, P. P. Konchalov-skaia, S. T. Konenkov, P. D. Korin, G. V. Korzhev, the Kukry-nitsys (M. V. Kuprianov, P. N. Krylov, and N. A. Sokolov), S. D. Lebedeva, M. G. Manizer, S. D. Merezhkov, V. I. Mukhi-na, M. V. Nesterov, la. I. Nikoladze, Iu. I. Pimenov, A. A. Plas-tov, B. I. Prorokov, T. Salakhov, M. S. Sar’ian, M. A. Savitskii, VI. A. Serov, U. Tansykbaev, N. V. Tomskii, E. V. Vuchetich, T. Zal’kaln, and I. Zarin’.
The Tret’iakov Gallery is the USSR’s most important institution for art scholarship. Deeply involved in popularizing its collection and Russian and Soviet art as a whole, the gallery organizes guided tours, lectures, and permanent and traveling exhibitions. In 1975,1,623,000 people visited the museum; in 1881 visitors totaled only about 8,000. The gallery was awarded the Order of the Red Banner of Labor in 1956. It is housed in a reconstruction of Tret’iakov’s residence and in several annexes, built at different times. The main facade, which was designed by the artist V. M. Vasnetsov, was built in 1902.