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The State Russian Museum in St. Petersburg
May 29, 2019 10:49


This country's first ever state museum of Russian fine art, the Russian Museum boasts a collection of 400,000 exhibits and illustrates the history of culture of over a thousand years.
Founded in 1895 by the decree of Emperor Nicholas II, the Russian Museum is a huge network today.
Its main building is the Mikhailovsky Palace at 4, Inzhenernaya Street, Saint Petersburg. Next to it is the Benois Wing that houses the main exposition of the museum. The Russian Museum occupies the finest architectural monuments, such as the Mikhailovsky Castle, the Stroganov Palace, and the Marble Palace. Unique park ensembles, such as the Summer Garden with the Summer Palace and the Mikhailovsky Garden, also belong to it.



The Russian Museum has collected a huge amount of epoch-making art treasures. In the year of its foundation, its collection encompassed 445 canvases, 111 sculptural groups, 981 graphic artworks and 5,000 collection items of Christian antiquities.

The Benois Wing is one of the many buildings that make up the Russian Museum. Located to the west of the Mikhailovsky Palace, the Benois Wing is connected to it with a special passage.


The pavilion exhibits paintings by Russian avant-garde artists and their predecessors – naïve painters and symbolists. Unfortunately, due to the limited exhibition space, the two antagonists of the Russian avant-garde - Pavel Filonov and Kazimir Malevich – have to be displayed in one and the same hall. Visitors to Hall 68 in the Benois Wing will see the art of Eugene Lanceray and Mstislav Dobuzhinsky, Konstantin Somov and Alexander Benois. These four artists went down in history as a progressive group that published the World of Art magazine. It was not only grotesque and gallantry that their works contributed to the Russian art. The field of the artists’ activity extended to book illustration design and stage productions.

The Benois Wing can be accessed from the Griboyedov Canal.


In that case you will start viewing the exposition with the artworks of the early 20th century. Hall 69 presents the paintings by Mikhail Vrubel and Valentin Serov. Of particular interest is the latter’s Portrait of Ida Rubinstein.
Temporary exhibitions are also held at the Benois Wing.
Activities of the State Russian Museum
The museum has the Restoration Values Department, which unites 16 studios, and the Scientific Library, which keeps 170,000 storage units. These are rare books, manuscripts, and unique publications.



The State Russian Museum conducts large-scale educational work, collaborates with the world’s best art collections, oversees and coordinates the work of 260 Russian museums.

To top it all, the State Russian Museum runs a number of stalls in it that offer a large choice of Russian folk arts and crafts, drawings, watercolors, books, replicas of famous artworks and souvenirs. Besides, the museum has its own publishing house, Palace Editions, which releases high-end printing books.

Where: the Mikhilovsky Palace at 4, Inzhenernaya Street,
and the Benois Wing at 2, Griboyedov Canal, next to the metro stations Gostiny Dvor and Nevsky Prospect, Saint Petersburg.
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Author: Vera Ivanova

Tags: State Russian Museum Museums of Saint Petersburg Russian Museums Exhibitions in St. Petersburg Art Exhibitions 

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