It was founded in 1856. The world’s largest collection of Russian paintings, drawings and sculptures has grown from private collections of the brothers Pavel and Sergei Tretyakov. Currently, the gallery presents more than 180 000 exhibits.
Founders of the gallery
The Tretyakov brothers belongs from an old but not very wealthy merchant family. Their father, Mikhail Zakharovich, gave them a good home education. Since their youth, they have taken up the family business, first trading, and then industrial. The brothers created the famous Great Kostroma Manufactory of linen products, they also were engaged in charity and social activities. Both brothers were collectors, but Sergei Mikhailovich was engaged in this as an amateur, but for Pavel Mikhailovich it became a matter of his life, in which he saw his mission.
The first paintings of Russian artists were acquired by Tretyakov in 1856 (this date is also considered the foundation year of the gallery). Since then, the collection has been constantly replenished. It was located in a family-owned house in Zamoskvorechye, in Lavrushinsky Lane. This building is the main building of the museum. It was constantly expanded and reconstructed for the needs of the exposition, and in the beginning of the 20th century it acquired a familiar look. Its facade was executed in Russian style according to the project of the artist Viktor Vasnetsov.
In 1893 the gallery was officially opened to the public.
Pavel Tretyakov was a very modest man, who did not like the hype around his name. He wanted a quiet opening, and when the celebrations were organized, he went abroad. He renounced the nobility, which was granted him by the emperor, accepting only the title of honorary citizen of Moscow.
Since then the gallery was enlarging several times by adding to it additional houses for storing the arts.
Collection of the museum
The most complete is the collection of art of the second half of the XIX-th century, it has not equal. Pavel Mikhailovich Tretyakov was, perhaps, the main buyer of the works of the Wanderers from the very first exhibition. The paintings of Perov, Kramskoy, Polenov, Ge, Savrasov, Kuindzhi, Vasiliev, Vasnetsov, Surikov, Repin, acquired by the very founder of the Tretyakov Gallery, are the pride of the museum. Here you can find the best examples of the golden age of Russian painting.
Fine art and artists who do not belong to the Wanderers. The works of Nesterov, Serov, Levitan, Malyavin, Korovin, as well as Alexander Benois, Vrubel, Somov, and Roerich took an honorable place in the exposition. After October 1917 the collection of the museum was replenished both at the expense of nationalized collections, and thanks to the works of contemporary artists. Their canvases give an idea of the development of Soviet art, its official trends and underground avant-garde.
The Tretyakov Gallery continues to replenish its funds. Since the beginning of the XXI century, there is a department of the newest trends, in which works of contemporary art are collected. In addition to painting, the gallery has a large collection of Russian graphics, sculptures, there is a valuable archive of manuscripts. A rich collection of ancient Russian art, icons – one of the best in the world. The beginning of it was laid still by Tretyakov. After his death, it was about 60 items, and at the moment there are about 4000 units.
- Lavrushinsky Lane, 10, Moscow, Russia, 119017
The nearest metro stations are “Tretyakovskaya”, “Novokuznetskaya” and “Polyanka”
- Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Sundays — from 10.00 to 18.00 (ticket office and last admission until 17.00),
- Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays — from 10.00 to 21.00
(ticket office and last admission until 20.00),
- day-off — Monday
- Adults — 500 RUB (8,5€)
- Students — 500 RUB (8,5€)
- Free admission for (with valid ID):
- persons under 18 years of age;
- Russian and foreign students of Art and Architecture colleges and higher educational institutions studying in Russian Federation. The policy does not apply to students with Trainee ID;
- ICOM members;
- guides with accreditation ID of the Association of Guide-Entrepreneurs and Tour Managers
- On Wednesdays you can visit the Tretyakov Gallery on Krymsky Val for free (except exhibitions “The Thaw”and “Giorgio de Chirico. Metaphysical insights”).
The price of a guided tour for the regular exposition consists of two parts:
- price of a museum guide service
- fees for the entrance tickets.
Museum guides deliver tours in English, French and German languages for 8000 RUB (115€).
Tourists speaking other languages (but as well as English, French and German) with their own Interpreter can book a tour in Russian for 6000 RUB (100€), provided the consecutive translation of their Group Interpreter.
We offer guided tours in foreign languages at the temporary exhibitions as well.
Please, book guided tours in advance.
The entrance fee for every visitor is still due.
Tourists planning to visit the Tretyakov Gallery can save time and avoid the need to purchase a ticket. You can now get into the art museum by simply attaching a “Troika” travel card to the reader.
The money for entry will be automatically written off from the balance of the travel card. The Tretyakov Gallery installed two readers in the lobby of the gallery, near the check posts. The innovation is valid from March 22, 2017.
Note that you can also buy a ticket to the Tretyakov Gallery online on the museum’s website.