In the center of the capital of Ukraine, the city of Kiev, in a wonderful quiet corner of Tereschenkovskaya Street, Museum of Art of Bogdan and Varvara Khanenko. Bogdan Khanenko, a well-known philanthropist of Ukraine at the beginning of the twentieth century, used to live in one of the houses. He was an outstanding person. With his beloved wife, Barbara, they lived more than forty years in peace and harmony.
During their life together, they collected the rarest objects of antiquity and art, a very large number of different ancient books, which were bequeathed together with their home to their native city. In 1917, in the month of March, according to the last will of the testator, Varvara planned to turn her private house into a museum of foreign art. Unfortunately, their dreams did not come true. The seventeenth year was famous for the periodic change of power, sometimes the power changed even every week. In the end, art values were nationalized, and the museum became a public institution. And the most dishonest was that the names of the creators of the museum were completely excluded by the Soviet leaders, because of their noble origin and great merits to the previous authorities. Proletarian ideology prevailed over the consciousness of most people.
Over the decades of the museum’s existence, its name has not changed, it still remained a museum of Western and Eastern art with periodic replenishment of museum funds. During the German occupation, the museum was badly damaged, many collections were destroyed. Only in 1999 justice prevailed, and the museum received the name of its founders. Today, the museum has more than twenty thousand exhibits of various works, including a large number of classical foreign art.
The old Hanenko mansion is made in the style of a Venetian palazzo, the lobby is decorated in the Baroque style, then there is a grand staircase with a covered gallery. The gallery contains ancient antique sculptures. The ground floor, in tribute, has an office of memorial things, documents, photographs, works of art and tomes of the spouses Khanenko. The second floor of the museum is decorated with a luxurious interior of the nineteenth century. Here are the expositions of Western European art in chronology and regionality. The historicism style is inherent in the Great Hall, the Red Living Room, and the Golden Cabinet.
The expositions feature Italian works of the 14-18th centuries, Spanish and Dutch - the 15-17th centuries, paintings from France from the 17th to the 19th centuries. Masterpieces include works by Bellini, Guardi, Velazquez, Palmezzano, Rubens, Peter Brueghel the Younger, Teniers, Boucher and other famous European masters. In the expositions there are works of the Renaissance masters of the Middle Ages: Donatello, Lorenzo Ghiberti, Luke of Robbia. Cellini and Bologna models are made in the Baroque style, sculptures by the masters of Canova and Cordier are made of bronze and marble. In addition, the artistic treasures of Ukraine are represented in a separate room: ancient Christian icons from wax paints dated 1850, which were found in the Sinai Monastery.