Tretyakov Gallery

Most of Moscow's main sights are to the north of the River Moskva, but this is the notable exception. Founded with a collection of 2000 paintings donated by the collector Pavel Tretyakov (1832–98), the gallery now contains 130,000 works of art, and all of them are Russian.

This is an unbeatable opportunity to investigate the strength and unique qualities of Russian art, from 11th-century icons on. Many of Russia's most famous painted images are here, such as works by Ilya Repin (1844–1930), the most celebrated Russian painter of his day. The museum's collection of 20th-century art is now housed in another building, the New Tretyakov Gallery, at Krymskiy Val, by Gorky Park; it includes work by Chagall and Kandinsky; the stridently avant-garde abstract work of the Suprematists (Malevich et al), and classic examples of Soviet propaganda painting (otherwise known as 'socialist realism').

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