Pushkin Fine Arts Museum
Lonely Planet review for Pushkin Fine Arts Museum
This is Moscow’s premier foreign-art museum, showing off a broad selection of European works, mostly appropriated from private collections after the revolution. The Pushkin’s collections are located not only in this main building, but also in the Museum of Private Collections and the Gallery of European & American Art of the 19th & 20th Centuries. A collective ticket to all three museums is available for adults/students for R500/300.
To see the incredible collection of Impressionist and post-Impressionist paintings, visit the Gallery of European & American Art. What’s left in the main building is still impressive, especially since the place has been revamped, with more modern museum lighting and improved layout. This is only the first phase of a multiyear project that will have the Pushkin expanding into a new complex designed by UK architect Norman Vincent Foster.
In the meantime, the museum has room to show off some of its paintings that have never been displayed before, including Renaissance masterpieces. Artists such as Botticelli, Tiepolo and Veronese are all represented. The highlight is perhaps the Dutch masterpieces from the 17th century, the so-called Golden Age of Dutch art. Rembrandt is the star of the show, with many paintings on display, including his moving Portrait of an Old Woman. The rest of Europe is also well represented from this period.
The Ancient Civilisation exhibits contain a surprisingly excellent collection, complete with ancient Egyptian weaponry, jewellery, ritual items and tombstones. Most of the items were excavated from burial sites, including two haunting mummies.
Another room houses the impressive exhibit ‘Treasures of Troy’, with excavated items dating to 2500 BC. A German archaeologist donated the collection to the city of Berlin, from where it was appropriated by the Soviets in 1945. Keep an eye out for special exhibits at the Pushkin, which has mounted some ambitious temporary shows in recent years. The Pushkin Gallery also hosts the prestigious December Nights Festival, which accompanies the artwork with musical performances.