The Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts, located on Volkhonka street just opposite the Cathedral of Christ the Saviour, is the largest museum of European art in Moscow.
Founded by Professor Ivan Tsvetaeu (father of Russian poet Marina Tsvetaeva), the Museum opened its doors to the public in 1912. Without the influence of millionaire and philanthropist Yuriy Nechaev-Maltsov and architect Roman Klein this fine arts museum would not exist today.
After the Russian capital was moved to Moscow in 1918, the Soviet government transferred thousands of works from St Petersburg’s Hermitage Museum to the new capital. These paintings formed a nucleus of the Pushkin Museum’s collections of Western art . The most important paintings were added later from the State Museum of New Western Art (also called the European Gallery)– Impressionist and Post-Impressionist artwork, including top works by Van Gogh, Gauguin, Picasso, Monet and Matisse.
After World War II some works from the Dresden Gallery in East Germany were stored in Moscow for 10 years at the Museum. They were finally returned to East Germany, despite strong opposition from Museum officials.
In 1937, Pushkin’s name was appended to the museum because the Soviet Union marked the centenary of the poet’s death that year.
The Pushkin Museum is a main depositary of Troy’s fabulous gold looted from Troy by the German archaeologist, Heinrich Schliemann and taken by the Soviet Army from the Pergamon Museum in Berlin.
The International musical festival, Svyatoslav Richter’s “December nights,”
has been held in the Pushkin Museum since 1981.
The collections in the 3 different Pushkin Museum venues:
- The main museum
- The European Gallery
- The Museum of Private collections
are massive. You cannot do justice to the art here in one day.
Allow us to schedule your private tour of Moscow with visits to each of
these magnificent museums on different days. Otherwise you and your private
Moscow tour guide will “overdose” and it would diminish the enjoyment.