Learn About The State Tretyakov Gallery, Moscow | Included in Russia Package

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Why Visit the Tretyakov Gallery

The real treasure trove of Russian art, the Tretyakov Gallery, is, indeed, an unmissable highlight during your Moscow tour! But how this marvel came to life, and who stood at the origins of creating the most famous art gallery in Moscow?

The inspiration to invest in art came to Pavel Tretyakov during his first journey to St. Petersburg, which became the motive for opening a gallery like that.

In fact, Tretyakov Gallery started as a private collection when he bought his first acquisition, a series of 10 original works by Dutch artists. In 1854 Pavel Tretyakov and his brother inherited a considerable estate worth some 3.8 million rubles from his father at 18.

The inheritance made him an important textile tycoon, a business that the Tretyakov brothers expanded, opening new mills and employing thousands of Russians from various cities.

The history of the Tretyakov Gallery

Originally, Tretyakov had in mind a small private collection of Russian art that he originally planned to leave to his descendants. Yet inspired by the St. Petersburg gallery of Fedor Pryanishnikov, Tretyakov came to the idea that a public gallery should exist in which Russian art could inspire Russian ideas among its viewers.

To realize this new and much larger goal, Tretyakov understood that he needed the best works that this huge country could produce. He even sponsored a society of great Moscow artists, “The Wanderers” in 1870, who, in turn, provided him with an ever-growing collection of excellent works.

Soon Tretyakov became known for his generosity to great artists and for an almost legendary ability to discern the best in Russian art.

The collection grew in both size and quality, and eventually, Tretyakov decided to make his gallery available to the public domain, presenting the collection to the Moscow government.

Ever since, the Tretyakov Gallery has been synonymous with the best in Russian art and is considered the #1 art gallery in Moscow with more than 150,000 works of art today. Read more about the Tretiakov Gallery here.