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Zoom lecture:
The Great Russian Art Collectors : Tretyakov, Shchukin and Morozov
Recorded: 1 Dec 2020
Time: 10:15
Jane Angelini

Pavel Tretyakov by Repin
Pavel Tretyakov by Repin    

PAVEL TRETYAKOV 1832 – 1898 first talk

Pavel Tretyakov is arguably the greatest-ever collector of Russian Art. A wealthy merchant and industrialist, he made a fortune from textiles and spent much of it on his art collection. Almost from the very beginning, his patronage was guided by his ultimate aim of establishing a national museum of Russian art. As a result, he bought a wide variety of works representing all the various contemporary painting genres and movements and commissioning many artists to produce works especially for the collection. In 1874, he founded a gallery to house his collection, which opened to the public next door to his Moscow mansion. In 1892, he donated both the gallery and the mansion, together with his and his brother's art collections amounting to approximately 2,000 items, to the city of Moscow. Following the 1917 Bolshevik Revolution, the institution was taken over by the new State and renamed the Tretyakov gallery. 

SHCHUKIN (1854- 1936) and MOROZOV (1871-1921) -second talk

Shchukin and Morozov are frequently linked together. Both came from fabulously wealthy merchant classes and both were prodigious art collectors. In the final years of the 19th century Sergei Shchukin, who belonged to a family of collectors of art, became a regular at Paris galleries, purposefully and with extraordinary acumen buying Impressionist masterpieces long before they became appreciated by others: Monet, Matisse, Cezanne, Gauguin, Derain amongst others . His great passion was for Gaughin and Matisse and later for Picasso. Sergei Shchukin may well have been the best investor in the entire history of world art. In auction house Sotheby’s evaluation, today his collection would be worth $8.5 billion. Working somewhat in the shadow of Shchukin, Morozov also collected French Impressionists and Post Impressionists as well an equally large collection of Russian Art by all of the great Russian artists of the 19th and early 20th century. The collections formed by these two giants in the history of art collectors had a pivotal influence on contemporary Russian artists, who had no need to travel to acquaint themselves with leading French modernists. After the 1917 Revolution the collections were confiscated by the State and are now distributed between the Tretyakov Gallery, the Hermitage and the Pushkin Museum. 

Length: 1 hour and 30 minutes  

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