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St Petersburg Attractions: The Russian Museum

One of the premier tourist attractions in St Petersburg is The Russian Museum. Formerly called the Russian Museum of His Imperial Majesty Alexander III, it is now simply the State Russian Museum, and has the largest collection of Russian fine art on the city.

The museum was established in 1895 by Tsar Nicholas II in memory of his father who began amassing the collection of Russian fine art, and its grand opening for visitors occurred in 1898.Russian Museum

The Russian Museum in St Petersburg is a unique depository of treasures of fine art, as well as a renowned centre for restoration, academic research, and education. It houses more than four hundred thousand exhibits across the complex of the Mikhailovsky Palace, Benois Wing, Stroganov Palace, Marble Palace, and the Mikhailovsky Castle. It also includes the House of Peter the Great, the Summer Palace and Garden, and the Mikhailovsky Gardens. Collections include Russian Icons, Old Russian Applied and Decorative Art, Graphic Art, Sculpture, Watercolours and Drawings, Paintings, Folk Art, Modern Art, and Numismatics (coins and medals).

To be marvelled at in the museum are collections including:

  • The Main Collection at the Mikhailovsky Palace traces the history of Russia’s art from ancient Byzantine iconography to art of the present day.
  • The Marble Palace houses temporary exhibitions as well as the permanent collections of nineteenth and early twentieth century Russian painters, as well as applied art including antique clocks and porcelain pieces.
  • The Stroganov Palace is being restored to reflect its glory days in the 1600’s and 1700’s.
  • The Mikhailovsky Castle houses permanent collections of art and sculpture from the eighteenth to twentieth centuries.

Current temporary exhibitions include Pavel Fedotov, Andrei Bodrov, and Nikolai Romadin.

Coming soon will be exhibitions of the art of:

  • Russia Realism in the XXI Century
  • Treasures of Ancient Russia
  • Peter I: His Time and Circle
  • Boris Vorobiev
  • Monk Ephrem (Vladimir Makarov)

To visit the Russian Museum, first stop at the central information desk in the Mikhailovsky Palace for floor plans and guides. It is open every day except Tuesday.

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