State Russian Museum St Petersburg
The State Russian Museum is the largest depository of Russian fine art in Saint Petersburg. The Museum is a truly remarkable collection of national art, tracing the development of the visual arts in Russia from its origin in Byzantine icon-painting to the richly varied avant-garde experiments of the early 20th century, when Russian art finally exploded onto the international stage.
The principal collections of the Russian Museum are located in the Mikhailovsky Palace. It was constructed for one of the emperor Paul I’s sons, the grand duke Mikhail Pavlovich, upon the project of the architect C. Rossi. From the very beginning of its existence, the palace was recognized as an architectural masterpiece not only on the territory of Russia, but also in all Europe. The receptions given in this palace were frequented by the most famous Russian poets and writers, such as Alexander Pushkin. The palace was also famous for its musical salon, where the best European singers, musicians, and composers came to. It was a place where the residents of St. Petersburg could listen to such celebrities as Liszt, Berlioz, Schuman, Wagner, and many others.
Today the collection shows Russian art beginning in the 12th century up to the socialist realism and in the USSR the inofficial art of the 20th century. In 1995 the Ludwig-Museum was funded, which is a substantial collection of contemporary art. The collection holds important masterpieces since 1945, amongst others Jasper Johns, Pablo Picasso, Jeff Koons, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Andy Warhol, Joseph Beuys, Ilja Kabakow, Jörg Immendorff, Werner Branz and Gottfried Helnwein.
The last great painters of the 19th century continued the traditions of the Wanderers, painting historical scenes and landscapes in a strictly realist style, informed by a powerful sense of social justice and liberal patriotism. However, elements of mysticism and symbolism began to play a more and more important role in the works of artists like Vasily Surkov and Viktor Vasnetsov, both of whom specialized in colourful, often violent, historical scenes.
4, Inzhenernaya Ulitsa / Ploshchad Iskusstv
+7 (812) 595-4248
Daily 10am to 6pm. Last admission is at 5.30pm. Thursday: 1pm to 9pm. Last admission is at 8.30pm. Monday: 10am to 8pm. Last admission is at 7.30pm.
State Russian Museum St Petersburg | paintings in chronological order
1826 – 1850
1851 – 1875
1876 – 1900