Opened in 1898 in the Mikhaylovsky Palace (architect C.Rossi). The museum numbers nearly 400,000 exhibits. It is the largest in the country collection of Russian art, from ancient icons to the Avant-garde painting of the XX century.
Open: 10:00 - 18:00, Mon till 16:00.
Closed on TUE
State Russian Museum is the largest collection of Russian
Fine Arts in the world. It was opened on 7 (19) March 1898
and became the first in Russia State museum of Russian art.
The collections of Russian museum consists of about 400 000
exponents. There are the masterpieces of all basic trends
and schools of national fine art, all its kinds and genres
from X to XX th century. Every year in the museum there are
about 30 exhibitions, to many of which catalogues, albums
and booklets are published.
The museum is placed in former buildings located in the historical
centre of Saint Petersburg. They are - the Stroganov and the
Marble palace and the main building of the museum - the Bnois
The Mikhailovsky Palace with its lateral wings and a garden
takes a big territory between the Moika River and Iskusstv
Square, Sadovaya Street and the Griboedov canal. The palace
was build for the Grand Duke Mikhail Pavlovich, the junior
son of Paul I (here its name comes from - Mikhailovsky). The
Was started on 26 July 1819 by the project and under the personal
direction of the architect Karlo Rossi on the site of hothouses
of the Mikhailovsky palace. By September 1825 the construction
of the palace was completed excluding some garden works.
In 1894 the Mikhailovsky palace began to ruin because of becoming
an apartment house by its new owners. In 1895 it was transferred
into possession of the Treasury with the purpose of arranging
a museum in it. In 1896-97 the Mikhailovsky palace was arranged
for placing their collections of the newly created museum
of Russian Art of Alexander III. Only part of interiors retained
their original decoration.
After 1917 the museum got the name of the State Russian Museum.
Its collection was greatly enlarged by confiscated private
art collections, removal of church treasures and re-arranging
of museum funds. The icons by the work of Andrei Rublev, Dionisiy,
Simon Ushakov and other masters, confiscated from closed and
destroyed churches, are of the great value. The richest one
is the collection of art of 18, first half of 19th centuries,
included the works of I.N.Nikitin, A.M.Matveev, F.S.Rokotov,
A.G.Venecianov, K.P.Brullov, A.A.Ivanov , I.K.Aivazovsky,
The creative work of the masters of the second half of 19th
century is represented by Peredvizhnik's art, first of all
by pictures of I.N.Kramskoy, N.N.Ge, G.G.Myasoedov, V.G.Perov,
F.A.Bruni, I.I.Shishkin, A.K.Savrasov, I.E.Repin, V.I.Surikov.
The canvases of the masters of late 19 - early 20th centuries
are well presented also including painting of V.A.Serov, M.V.Nesterov,
I.I.Levitan, K.A.Korovin, A.I.Kuindgy, M.A.Vrubel, N.K.Rerekh,
A.N.Bnois. The department of the museum devoted to the creative
works of the artists of the mid 20th century is also very
the Great Patriotic War the Mikhailovsky palace was badly
damaged by bombardment of the city. After reconstruction the
museum was open for visiting again. Now the Russian museum
is one of the largest scientific and art institutions of Russia.
The Stroganov Palace was built in 1752-1754 by the project
of Rastrelly on the crossing of Nevskaya perspectiva and the
Moika River. In the beginning of 1790's the palace was partly
rebuilt. By the design of A.N.Voronichin on the sity of one
- storey palace wings the new buildings were constructed,
which interiors were decorated in Classicism style. The Picture
gallery was especially beautiful. There a brilliant collection
of pictures, owed of the Stroganovs, is one of the best private
art collections of Russia. In the collections there were paintings
of Bottichelly, Martini, Bronzino, Tintoretto, Rembrandt,
Van Deik, Rubens, Bushe Lorren, Pussen, Gres and other artists.
In 1918 the palace was taken away from the Stroganovs, The
collection of painting was partly sold, partly given to the
State Hermitage. In 1918-1925 in the palace there was the
Museum of Way of life, then - different economic and project
institutions, that very bad for its interiors. In 1988 the
city authorities took the decision about the restoration of
the palace and giving it to the Russian museum. Now there
is a reconstruction of the palace's halls.
The Marble palace
The Marble palace was built by the design of Antonio Rinaldi
The customer of the palace - The Empress Ekaterina II- intended
to present the beautiful building to the count G.G.Orlov.
Since 1796 the Marble palace became the Grand Duke residence.
Its owners - The Grand Duke Konstantin Pavlovich, The Grand
Duke Konstantin Nikolaevich, and his descendants reconstructed
the interiors of the palace many times. The greatest reconstruction
connected with the name of the architect A.P Brullov, was
in 1848-1851. Saving the outer look of the palace facades
A.P.Brullov decorated a new interiors of parade hall, churches,
apartments, created three new galleries on the second floor,
the open handing garden. The original interiors of Rinaldi
were saved - The Parade staircase, the lobby and the Marble
hall. In the centre of overhead cover of the Parade staircase
there is a shade of the German pointer of 18th century I.Kris
"the judgment of Paris". The hall is decorated by
seven sorts of marble: Greek, Italian, Ural, Karel, Sibiria,
and by bas-relief of sculptors F.Shubin and M.Kozlovsky and
a shade by S.Torelli "The celebration of Venus".
In 1888 the Great duke Konstantin Konstantinovich - a famous
Russian poet - became an owner of the palace; hi signed his
works with the initials "K.R.". The Marble palace
at the time of Konstantin Konstantinovich became the centre
of cultural life of the capital.
In 1937 in the halls of the Marble palace there were the expositions
of Leningrad branch of Central Lenin Museum. A new usage of
rooms led to loosing of he architectural decoration of the
second floor halls. Unique fireplaces, decorative fabrics
were destroyed, niches on the Parade staircase got empty,
there were the marble statues of F.Shubin's work (now they
are in the Russian museum). The artificial marble was painted
over, the golden modeling on arches, paintings, decoration
were painted white, the parquet was laid over. In 1992 the
Marble palace was transferred into the possession of the Russian
The Mikhailovsky Castle became the greatest construction
of Saint Petersburg of the end of 18th century. It was built
as a palace of destructed wooden Summer palace of Elisaveta
The exterior of the building doesn't look like other construction
of Saint Petersburg of the late 18th century. In contradiction
to them it seems severe and gloomy, cold and closed as if
it confirms its little - the castle. This impression is reinforced
by its rectangular form, its separate standing from neighbor
buildings. Firstly the castle was surrounded by water - Fontanka
and Moika rivers, deep canals and stone wall.
This is the only Emperor Palace in the complex of the State
Russian Museum buildings that was built for the Emperor Paul
I by the architect V.Brenna in honour of Archangel Michael
whom the Emperor considered to be his patron.
The Emperor moved to the castle on 1 February 1801. Hi lived
there only 40 days and was killed in his bedroom by conspirators.
His family left the castle forever. Under the initiative of
the Grand Duke Nikolai Pavlovich the castle was transmitted
to the Engineering Department in 19922 for placing there the
School of Military Engineers. In a year by the order of the
Emperor Alexander I the castle got a name - The Engineers.
Address: Inzhenernaya Ul., 4/2 see map