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Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts (Muzey Izobrazitelnykh Iskusstv imeni Pushkina)
Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts (Muzey Izobrazitelnykh Iskusstv imeni Pushkina) Review
One of the finest art museums in Russia, the Pushkin is famous for its Gauguin, Cézanne, and Picasso paintings, among other masterpieces. Founded by Ivan Vladimirovich Tsvetayev (1847-1913) of Moscow State University, father of poet Marina Tsvetaeva, the museum was originally established as a teaching aid for art students, which explains why a large part of its collection is made up of copies. The original building dates from 1895 to 1912 and was first known as the Alexander III Museum. It was renamed for Pushkin in 1937, on the centennial of the Russian poet's death. Next door, the Musey Chastnykh Kollektsiy (Museum of Private Collections) hosts some of the museum's most famous works and has separate hours and a small entrance fee.
The first-floor exhibit halls in the original building contain a fine collection of ancient Egyptian art (Hall 1); Greece and Rome are well represented, though mostly by copies (Room 7). The Italian school from the 15th century (Room 5) is represented by Botticelli's The Annunciation, Tomaso's The Assassination of Caesar, Guardi's Alexander the Great at the Body of the Persian King Darius, and Sano di Pietro's The Beheading of John the Baptist, among others. When you reach the Dutch School of the 17th Century (Hall 10), look for Rembrandt's Portrait of an Old Woman, whose subject may have been the artist's sister-in-law. Flemish and Spanish art from the 17th century are also well represented, with paintings by Murillo, Rubens, and Van Dyck (Hall 11). There are also frequent exhibits of collections on loan from other prominent European art museums. Check the museum Web site to find out what's showing currently.
The Museum of Private Collections houses a stunning assortment of impressionist, postimpressionist, and modern art. There are many fine canvases by Picasso (Hall 17), including several from his "blue" period. The same hall contains fascinating works by Henri Rousseau, including Jaguar Attacking a Horse. There are 10 works by Gauguin, mainly in Hall 18, which also houses Cézanne's Pierrot and Harlequin. The museum owns several works by Matisse (Hall 21), although they're not all on display. In the same hall hangs the poignant Landscape at Auvers After the Rain by Vincent van Gogh. The collection ends at Hall 23, which has works by Degas, Renoir, and Monet, including Monet's Rouen Cathedral at Sunset. 495/697-1610. 50R. Wed.-Sun. noon-6.
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