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RUSSIAN MUSEUM :   Information | Collections | Palaces | History | Celebration | Friends | Contacts | Events & programs | Exhibitions

Opened in 1898 in the Mikhaylovsky Palace (architect C.Rossi). The museum numbers nearly 400,000 exhibits. It is the largest in the country collection of Russian art, from ancient icons to the Avant-garde painting of the XX century.
Open: 10:00 - 18:00, Mon till 16:00.
Closed on TUE

The State Russian Museum is the largest collection of Russian Fine Arts in the world. It was opened on 7 (19) March 1898 and became the first in Russia State museum of Russian art. The collections of Russian museum consists of about 400 000 exponents. There are the masterpieces of all basic trends and schools of national fine art, all its kinds and genres from X to XX th century. Every year in the museum there are about 30 exhibitions, to many of which catalogues, albums and booklets are published.
The museum is placed in former buildings located in the historical centre of Saint Petersburg. They are - the Stroganov and the Marble palace and the main building of the museum - the Bnois Building.

The Mikhailovsky Palace with its lateral wings and a garden takes a big territory between the Moika River and Iskusstv Square, Sadovaya Street and the Griboedov canal. The palace was build for the Grand Duke Mikhail Pavlovich, the junior son of Paul I (here its name comes from - Mikhailovsky). The building
Was started on 26 July 1819 by the project and under the personal direction of the architect Karlo Rossi on the site of hothouses of the Mikhailovsky palace. By September 1825 the construction of the palace was completed excluding some garden works.
In 1894 the Mikhailovsky palace began to ruin because of becoming an apartment house by its new owners. In 1895 it was transferred into possession of the Treasury with the purpose of arranging a museum in it. In 1896-97 the Mikhailovsky palace was arranged for placing their collections of the newly created museum of Russian Art of Alexander III. Only part of interiors retained their original decoration.
After 1917 the museum got the name of the State Russian Museum. Its collection was greatly enlarged by confiscated private art collections, removal of church treasures and re-arranging of museum funds. The icons by the work of Andrei Rublev, Dionisiy, Simon Ushakov and other masters, confiscated from closed and destroyed churches, are of the great value. The richest one is the collection of art of 18, first half of 19th centuries, included the works of I.N.Nikitin, A.M.Matveev, F.S.Rokotov, A.G.Venecianov, K.P.Brullov, A.A.Ivanov , I.K.Aivazovsky, I.P.Martos.
The creative work of the masters of the second half of 19th century is represented by Peredvizhnik's art, first of all by pictures of I.N.Kramskoy, N.N.Ge, G.G.Myasoedov, V.G.Perov, F.A.Bruni, I.I.Shishkin, A.K.Savrasov, I.E.Repin, V.I.Surikov. The canvases of the masters of late 19 - early 20th centuries are well presented also including painting of V.A.Serov, M.V.Nesterov, I.I.Levitan, K.A.Korovin, A.I.Kuindgy, M.A.Vrubel, N.K.Rerekh, A.N.Bnois. The department of the museum devoted to the creative works of the artists of the mid 20th century is also very luxurious
During the Great Patriotic War the Mikhailovsky palace was badly damaged by bombardment of the city. After reconstruction the museum was open for visiting again. Now the Russian museum is one of the largest scientific and art institutions of Russia.

The Stroganov Palace was built in 1752-1754 by the project of Rastrelly on the crossing of Nevskaya perspectiva and the Moika River. In the beginning of 1790's the palace was partly rebuilt. By the design of A.N.Voronichin on the sity of one - storey palace wings the new buildings were constructed, which interiors were decorated in Classicism style. The Picture gallery was especially beautiful. There a brilliant collection of pictures, owed of the Stroganovs, is one of the best private art collections of Russia. In the collections there were paintings of Bottichelly, Martini, Bronzino, Tintoretto, Rembrandt, Van Deik, Rubens, Bushe Lorren, Pussen, Gres and other artists.
In 1918 the palace was taken away from the Stroganovs, The collection of painting was partly sold, partly given to the State Hermitage. In 1918-1925 in the palace there was the Museum of Way of life, then - different economic and project institutions, that very bad for its interiors. In 1988 the city authorities took the decision about the restoration of the palace and giving it to the Russian museum. Now there is a reconstruction of the palace's halls.

The Marble palace
The Marble palace was built by the design of Antonio Rinaldi in 1785. The customer of the palace - The Empress Ekaterina II- intended to present the beautiful building to the count G.G.Orlov. Since 1796 the Marble palace became the Grand Duke residence. Its owners - The Grand Duke Konstantin Pavlovich, The Grand Duke Konstantin Nikolaevich, and his descendants reconstructed the interiors of the palace many times. The greatest reconstruction connected with the name of the architect A.P Brullov, was in 1848-1851. Saving the outer look of the palace facades A.P.Brullov decorated a new interiors of parade hall, churches, apartments, created three new galleries on the second floor, the open handing garden. The original interiors of Rinaldi were saved - The Parade staircase, the lobby and the Marble hall. In the centre of overhead cover of the Parade staircase there is a shade of the German pointer of 18th century I.Kris "the judgment of Paris". The hall is decorated by seven sorts of marble: Greek, Italian, Ural, Karel, Sibiria, and by bas-relief of sculptors F.Shubin and M.Kozlovsky and a shade by S.Torelli "The celebration of Venus".
In 1888 the Great duke Konstantin Konstantinovich - a famous Russian poet - became an owner of the palace; hi signed his works with the initials "K.R.". The Marble palace at the time of Konstantin Konstantinovich became the centre of cultural life of the capital.
In 1937 in the halls of the Marble palace there were the expositions of Leningrad branch of Central Lenin Museum. A new usage of rooms led to loosing of he architectural decoration of the second floor halls. Unique fireplaces, decorative fabrics were destroyed, niches on the Parade staircase got empty, there were the marble statues of F.Shubin's work (now they are in the Russian museum). The artificial marble was painted over, the golden modeling on arches, paintings, decoration were painted white, the parquet was laid over. In 1992 the Marble palace was transferred into the possession of the Russian Museum.

The Mikhailovsky Castle became the greatest construction of Saint Petersburg of the end of 18th century. It was built as a palace of destructed wooden Summer palace of Elisaveta Petrovna.
The exterior of the building doesn't look like other construction of Saint Petersburg of the late 18th century. In contradiction to them it seems severe and gloomy, cold and closed as if it confirms its little - the castle. This impression is reinforced by its rectangular form, its separate standing from neighbor buildings. Firstly the castle was surrounded by water - Fontanka and Moika rivers, deep canals and stone wall.
This is the only Emperor Palace in the complex of the State Russian Museum buildings that was built for the Emperor Paul I by the architect V.Brenna in honour of Archangel Michael whom the Emperor considered to be his patron.
The Emperor moved to the castle on 1 February 1801. Hi lived there only 40 days and was killed in his bedroom by conspirators. His family left the castle forever. Under the initiative of the Grand Duke Nikolai Pavlovich the castle was transmitted to the Engineering Department in 19922 for placing there the School of Military Engineers. In a year by the order of the Emperor Alexander I the castle got a name - The Engineers.

Address: Inzhenernaya Ul., 4/2   see map

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