Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts
Origins, Art Collections of Sergei Shchukin, Ivan Morozov: Highlights of Permanent Collection.


Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts, Moscow


Origins and History
The Collections
Contact Details

Further Resources

Russian Art (c.30,000 BCE - 1920)
Russian Artists (A-Z List from c.1300-present)

Hermitage St Petersburg
Tretyakov Gallery Moscow
Louvre Museum
Musee Conde, Chantilly
Strasbourg Museum of Fine Arts
Antwerp Museum of Fine Arts
Uffizi Gallery Florence
Pitti Palace, Florence
Capodimonte Museum, Naples
Doria Pamphilj Gallery

Origins & History

The Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts houses some of the world's most valuable artworks dating from antiquity to the early 20th century. It's European collection of paintings, prints, drawings, sculpture, decorative and applied art from the 16th century onwards are particularly impressive, and it's extensive collection of French Impressionism (c.1873-82) and Post-Impressionism (c.1880s/90s) rivals that of the Musee d'Orsay in Paris. The museum has a medium-sized collection of artifacts from ancient Egypt and thousands of objects from antiquities. The Museum of Sculpture Casts has over 750 copies of famous works of sculpture from the Hellenistic era to the Renaissance.

Mauritshuis Art Museum
Rijksmuseum Amsterdam
Prado Museum Madrid
Guggenheim Bilbao
Reina Sofia, Madrid
Alte Meister Dresden
Gemaldegalerie SMPK, Berlin
Guggenheim Berlin
Pinakothek Museum Munich
Kunsthistorisches Museum
Kunstmuseum Basel
British Museum
National Gallery London
Tate Gallery
Courtauld Gallery
British Royal Art Collection
Victoria & Albert Museum

Best Art Museums in America.

Before visiting the Pushkin Museum
of Fine Arts
, please see:
Art Evaluation: How to Appreciate Art.

For news of any major exhibitions
of fine art being held at the
Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts, see:
Art News Headlines.

See our guide to the art of
Painting (oils/watercolours), or
Printmaking (etching/lithography).

The main Pushkin building was constructed between 1898 and 1912 on a site previously occupied by a prison. It was formally opened in May 1912 and became part of the centenary celebrations of Napoleon's defeat. The last Tsar of Russia, Nikolia II was in attendance. The collection grew significantly after the Bolshevik Revolution when many private collections became nationalized into state property. Such private collections included those of Sergei Shchukin (1854-1936) and Ivan Morozov (1871-1921), two of the greatest Russian art collectors along with Pavel Tretyakov (1832-1898). More artworks were added over time through donations, purchases and confiscations, including the 'Troy treasure', appropriated from Berlin's museums at the end of World War II. In 1937 it officially became know as the Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts in honour of the centenary of the poet's death.

The Collections

The Art of Ancient Egypt

The museum has over 6,000 items of Egyptian art, from the Predynastic (4th century BCE) to the Coptic era (4th-7th century). The collection includes examples of Fayum Mummy portraits (50 BCE-250 CE) - panel paintings which demonstrate a combination of ancient Egyptian and Hellenistic-Roman artistic traditions. These portraits were painted on wooden boards and attached to mummies. The majority were found in the necropolis of Faiyum, and were perfectly preserved by the dry Egyptian climate.


Statue of Pharaoh Amemenhet (19th century BCE).
Figures of High Priest Amenhotep and Priestess Rannai (15th century BCE).
• Cosmetic Spoon (end of the 15th century BCE).
The spoon is made from ivory and is modelled in the form of a nude elegant girl swimming with a lotus flower.
Portrait of a Middle Aged Man (c.100).
Painted using encaustic paint which was rubbed into the wooden board with brushes and special metal palettes (cauteria).

The Art of Antiquity

This collection contains thousands of pieces of decorative art, ceramics, coins, jewellery, vessels and sculptures. It is constantly growing as a result of the museum's regular expeditions and archeological digs in the Black Sea area. Of particular note are:

Stele depicting Two Warriors (370 BCE)
Sarcophagus with figures of Bacchus, Ariadne and Hercules (c.210)

The Picture Gallery

European Paintings: 8th - 16th Century

The museum owns a small collection of Byzantine Art, mainly icon paintings and mosaic art, as well as a collection of Renaissance paintings. Painters represented include Sienese painter Sassetta (c.1450), Umbrian School artist Perugino (1446/50-1523), Sandro Botticelli (1445-1510), Italian Mannerist Il Bronzino (1503-72) and Paolo Veronese (1528-88). Paintings from the Netherlandish Renaissance and German Renaissance (c.1400-1580) are also represented, including those by painter and woodcut printmaker Lucas Cranach the Elder (1472-1553). Paintings of particular note include:

The Annunciation by Botticelli, tempera on panel (1490s)
Madonna and Child by Lucas Cranach the Elder (c.1525)

See also Russian medieval painting, notably the celebrated Novgorod school of icon painting, and read about the three greatest painters: Theophanes the Greek (c.1340-1410), Andrei Rublev (c.1360-1430), and Dionysius (c.1440-1502).

European Paintings: 17th - 18th Century

This is one of the major groups of paintings in the museum's picture gallery. It includes some of the greatest genre paintings and greatest portrait paintings of the European school, and illustrates most of the movements of the era. Artists represented include painter and printmaker Rembrandt (1606-69), Dutch landscapist Jacob van Ruisdael (1628-82), Flemish Baroque artist Sir Peter Paul Rubens (1577-1640) and Jacob Jordaens (1593-1678); as well as vedute painters Canaletto (1697-1768) and Francesco Guardi (1712-93), Spanish painter Francisco Zurbaran (1598-1664), Bartolome Murillo (1617-82), Nicolas Poussin (1594-1665) and Francois Boucher (1703-1770).

See also: Russian Painting of the 18th Century.


Breakfast (1646) by Pieter Claesz.
Rinaldo and Armida (1625-26) by Nicolas Poussin.
Hercules and Omphale by Francois Boucher.

European Paintings: Early and Mid 19th Century

The first half of the 19th century was characterized by changing and developing artistic trends. This is reflected in the museum's collection. While classicism was still highly regarded, romanticism and realism were making an appearance. The great French Romantic Masters, Eugene Delacroix (1798-1863) and artist/lithographer Theodore Gericault (1791-1824) are represented in the collection, as well as European landscape painting reformers John Constable (1776-1837) and Jean Baptiste Camille Corot (1796-1875). There are also works by the Barbizon school as well as by realist artists such as Gustave Courbet (1819-77) and Jean-Francois Millet (1814-75), and the German Romantic landscape painter Caspar David Friedrich (1774-1840).


View of Highgate (c.1830) by John Constable.
Hay Wagon (c.1860) by Corot.
Andromache Lamenting Hector (1783) by Jacques Louis David (1748-1825).

Paintings: Late 19th Century and Early 20th Century

When the New Western Art museum was shut in 1948, its highly developed collection of French painting from the 19th/20th century was split between the Pushkin and the Hermitage museum. The Pushkin received paintings of rare artistic and historical value covering art movements such as Impressionism, Neo-Impressionism, Post-Impressionism, Pointillism, Divisionism, Les Nabis and Primitivism. Artists in the collection include Claude Monet (1840-1926), Renoir (1841-1919), Degas (1834-1917), Camille Pissarro (1830-1903), Alfred Sisley (1839-99), Cezanne (1839-1906), Van Gogh (1853-90), Paul Gauguin (1848-1903), Pierre Bonnard (1867-1947), Edouard Vuillard (1868-1940), Maurice Denis (1870-1943), Matisse (1869-1954) and Picasso (1881-1973). Among the highlights of the collection is Van Gogh's The Red Vineyard (1888, Le Vigne Rouge) which is reportedly the only painting sold by the artist in his lifetime.


Boulevard de Capucines, Paris (1873) by Monet.
Nude (1876) by Renoir.
Pierrot and Harlequin (1888-90) by Cezanne.
The Girl on a Ball (1905) by Picasso.
Improvisation No.20 (1911) by Wassily Kandinsky.

Prints and Drawings

In 1924 the Graphic Arts department was added to the museum, founded with 20,000 prints which were donated from the Hermitage museum. Today, it contains about 400,000 drawings, illustrated books, engravings, posters, applied graphics and ex-libris prints from all over the world and all periods of art history. Among them are works from great masters including Albrecht Durer (1471-1528), Rembrandt, and creators of Japanese Ukiyo-e woodblock prints like Katsushika Hokusai (1760-1849) and Hiroshige (1797-1858).

Contact Details

Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts
12, Ulitsa Volkhonka
Moscow 121019

+7 (495) 203-7998


Opening Times

Tuesday to Sunday -10am to 6pm
Closed Mondays


• For details of more galleries, see: Best Art Museums.
• For more information about Russia's greatest art museums, see: Homepage.

Art Types
© visual-arts-cork.com. All rights reserved.