As if intricate towers from a Russian fairy tale stand in the Zamoskvorechye building Tretyakov Gallery, whose main facade was decorated in the years 1901-1902 according to the project of artist V. The inscription at the entrance, made in old script, reads: “Moscow City Art Gallery named after Pavel Mikhailovich and Sergei Mikhailovich Tretyakov. Founded by P.M. "Tretyakov in 1856 and donated them as a gift to Moscow together with the collection of S. M. Tretyakov hanged in the city."
It is very difficult to believe that such a huge museum of world significance began to exist thanks to the efforts of only one person - P.M. Tretyakova.
Russian genre painting began with the work of the artist P. Fedotov, who prompted Tretyakov to think about creating a museum. The paintings simply amazed him with their versatility, and, at the same time, simplicity. And in 1856 the first step was taken - Pavel Mikhailovich Tretyakov bought from the then famous academician of painting N. Schilder the painting "Temptation". After some time, another extraordinary picture was added to the collection “Skirmish with Finnish smugglers"Written by V. Khudyakov. It is from these two paintings that we can assume that the gathering of Tretyakov began. In Moscow, the so-called exhibitions of the Society of Art Lovers took place, from where the collection gradually replenished.
Tretyakov began to make acquaintances with artists, and could already buy a painting that was not even ready yet, which had only begun in the artist’s workshop. Tretyakov believed that Russian art has a future, and a lot of time should be devoted to this issue. In the letter of Tretyakov there are such lines: “Many positively do not want to believe in the good future of Russian art, they assure that if some artist of ours writes a good thing, it’s somehow accidental, and that he will then increase a number of mediocrity ... I otherwise, otherwise ... I would not collect a collection of Russian paintings ... ".
Fate was favorable to Tretyakov. He married S. Mamontov's niece, who was a philanthropist of the arts. Tretyakov often visited him in Abramtsevo. It was here, at that time, that many outstanding Russian painters, members of the famous Abramtsevo art circle, lived and worked.
In 1871, Tretyakov met Repin. This was facilitated by the world's first traveling exhibition. Tretyakov wanted to convey the unlimited beauty of the paintings to the masses, and was very passionate about this idea.
Continuous purchases of paintings led Tretyakov to the fact that his mansion could no longer accommodate all the works of the collection. And then he decided to make a large extension with a facade on Lavrushinsky Lane (now the main museum building). In 1874, the work was completed. After hanging the paintings in the halls, Tretyakov announced the opening of a gallery for visitors. It was his old dream, and it came true!
But Tretyakov did not stop there. In 1892, he donated a collection of his paintings and a collection of his brother hanged up to him (it included paintings by European masters, who later joined the exposition of the State Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts) as a gift to Moscow. More than 3 thousand works of painting, graphics and sculpture, collected by him, became the basis of the famous art gallery.Tretyakov Gallery - the largest museum of national art.
The gallery was supplemented by its employees. Now you can find there the masterpieces of such famous painters as Andrei Rublev, Dionysius, Theophanes the Greek and many others. From private collections, more than 400 works written in the 18th century were added to the gallery. Moreover, the department of Soviet art is still replenished. At the moment, more 57 thousand works of national fine art are included in the priceless collection of the Tretyakov Gallery.
Over one and a half million visitors pass through its halls annually. Almost 100 traveling exhibitions are sent every year from Lavrushinsky Lane to the cities of the country. This is how Lenin’s decree is fulfilled, which entrusted the Tretyakov Gallery with “nation-wide educational functions” - to widely introduce the masses to art.
Muscovites are rightfully proud of their famous museum. Gorky wrote: “The Tretyakov Gallery is as good and significant as the Art Theater, St. Basil and all the best in Moscow.”