One of my biggest passions in live is doing oil painting and looking at art always inspires me to paint. Moscow is filled with art galleries and museums to visit, too many to count so I started with the famous galleries and am still slowly working my way through them. I think the spectacular State Tretyakov Gallery is an essential destination for all art lovers who visit Moscow. This is definitely one of my favourite art galleries and I have been here more than once.
The State Tretyakov Gallery is not in the heart of the city, but well worth the effort to see the fine collection of early modern art. I also quite enjoy just having a chuckle at the gross pomposity of the “masterpieces” of Socialist Realism, and to discover the sporadically fascinating works of the post-war Soviet avant-garde. These paintings are very good but most don’t really inspire me but there are some paintings that just make me feel like nothing I can ever paint will be good enough.
For most of us, Russian art was something of a closed book up until the 20th century when some giants such as Kandinsky, Chagall and Malevich appeared on the scene. The Tretyakov gave me the chance to discover the rich tradition from which these great artists sprang onto the world stage.
The gallery has 62 rooms and 100,000 works depicting the development of Russian painting from the 10th to the end of the 19th Century.
I know that Icons are an acquired taste but the Tretyakov collection is impressive and exquisite. I love the exquisitely decorated icons and the very old ones that are painted on wood are stunning. I think the artful way the gospels are depicted in these icons show a love and appreciation for the Christian religion.
For me it’s hard to get excited over the derivative, Italian-influenced portraits and landscapes of the 18th Century that you get to see more than enough of here.
Here I experienced again clearly the price difference that occurs at all galleries and Russian attractions. Admission prices for foreign citizens were 225 rubles and for Russian and CIS citizens 100 rubles. Unfortunately the English information provides only a brief introduction to the gallery and not much else and the Russian information has a much more comprehensive, room-by-room guide.
I came across a crazy Russian painter near the end of the exhibition: Mikhail Aleksandrovich Vrubel.
He is usually regarded amongst the Russian painters of the Symbolist movement. Vrubel painted demonic themes on large canvases. In order to astound the public with a spiritual message, he repeatedly repainted the demon’s ominous face. At the end he had a severe nervous breakdown and was hospitalized in a mental clinic.
I think he is definitely now one of my favourite Russian painters!
The area surrounding the Art Gallery is filled with cathedrals and small parks that were loads of fun exploring after walking around inside the gallery.
I walked through the streets surrounding the gallery and came upon a very beautiful fountain. The “Adam and Eve” fountain is a huge bronze apple with Adam and Eve sitting on top. This fountain was sculpted by one of Russia’s most famous artist “Tsereteli”. His bronze works can be seen all over the city. I sat here and had lunch while listening to the tranquil sound of water flowing around me.
As I walked back towards the river I came across a couple of beautiful churches and buildings that just reminded me again of why I love Moscow!
The Church of the Resurrection in Kadasi was fabulous although you can see it needs a lot of restoration. It was built in the 17th century and later used as a furniture factory. Sadly all the buildings surrounding this dilapidated church are modern and don’t do the church any justice. It looks like they are going to try to restore this church; I hope that they can repair it before it falls into ruins.
When I reached the Moscow River I walked across the “Love Bridge”. This bridge is covered with iron trees on which lovers upon getting married come to affix a lock with their names and wedding date on for long lasting love. The government waits until the iron trees are filled with locks and then they move them from the bridge but keep them next to the river.
I loved walking across this bridge and watching the water fountains in the river. Just on the other side of the bridge there was a small park filled with flowers and statues. The most striking statue was one that portrayed all the brutalities that are done to children in this world. This sculpture made me stop and think about all the bad things that can and do happen to children, it left me feeling sad and angry that people hurt defenseless children.
I love just walking around Moscow because most of the time I come across something amazing!!