Armed conflicts have accompanied humanity through hundreds and thousands of years of its history. Wars have destroyed and created empires, caused nations to rise, mix, and disappear. Although never desired or welcomed, war was nevertheless accepted as a customary part of historic existence – a jousting ground where nations and states fought it out to win themselves a better place under the sun. War generals and heroes were immortalised in monuments, and some were even canonised as saints.
In Russia, as everywhere else in Europe, paintings of battle scenes, historic events, genre scenes, sculpture, and applied artworks on military subjects were in most cases commissioned by the state. First the customers would have been the emperor and members of his court, and then in the Soviet Union the Ministry of Culture, the Artists’ Union, and the Art Fund. In Soviet times, pre-1917 battle scene paintings deemed to possess no exceptional aesthetic merits by the then-current standards were largely confined to history museums. Russian battle artwork among permanent exhibits in art museums was limited to pieces by outstanding masters such as Ivan Aivazovsky and Vasily Vereshchagin. Battle paintings by other notable artists of the academic or realistic persuasion (Grigory Gagarin, Pyotr Gruzinsky, Nikolai Dmitriev-Orenburgsky, Alexei Kivshenko, Ivan Kovshenkov, Alexander von Kotzebue, Nikolai Karazin and others) were usually relegated to back rooms. A similar selection process was practiced by the Russian Museum post-1917, as its collection continued to be augmented by battle pieces and historical paintings created by Soviet masters: Mikhail Avilov, Alexander Deineka, Gely Korzhev, Evsei Moiseyenko, Andrei Mylnikov, Vladimir Serov, Valentin Sidorov, Pavel Sokolov-Skalya and others.
Images of Military Life is an extensive exhibition featuring icons, paintings, sculptures, and applied and decorative artworks from the 16th through 20th centuries, most of them extracted from the museum’s repositories. It continues the Russian Museum’s time-honoured tradition of offering the public, from time to time, a broader perspective on its treasures and the magnitude of its collections.
1 December 2023—13 May 2024
This grandiose exhibition of the celebrated painter Vasily Surikov (1848–1916) is timed to coincide with the 175th anniversary of his birth. The exhibition presents over 120 paintings and graphic works by Surikov from the museums in St Petersburg, Moscow and Krasnoyarsk, including the famous historical paintings Yermak Conquering Siberia, Taking a Snow Town, Suvorov Crossing the Alps, Stepan Razin, Boyarynya Morozova (Tretyakov Gallery) and Menshikov in Beryozovo (Tretyakov Gallery), portraits, paintings on religious subjects, watercolours and fine examples of book illustrations.
16 October 2023—9 January 2024
The exhibition celebrating 120 years since Ermolayev’s birth features his 1930s works, in which he immortalized the streets of his native Volodarsky (now Nevsky) district and the daily life and recreational activities of the people of Leningrad’s outskirts.
The collection of masterpieces, chosen by the Russian Museum will allow you to make a first impression of the collection of the Russian Museum.
Russian Museum - one of the world's largest museums and is perhaps the only country where such a full treasure of national culture are presented.
Virtual tour of the museum complex. 2009 (Rus., Eng., Ger., Fin.)
In the online shop of the Russian Museum presented a huge range of souvenirs, illustrated editions and multimedia disks.
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The State Russian Museum
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