Let's talk about the personality of the founder of the world famous Tretyakov Gallery, the legendary Moscow philanthropist Pavel Tretyakov, for whom art was something more than just collecting.
Pavel Tretyakov, a well-known Moscow collector and philanthropist, dedicated his life to the dream of creating the first public museum of Russian art, to the idea of uniting scattered works by great artists into a single entity that would be open to all comers.
Supporting contemporary art, he had a huge impact on Russian culture of the 18th century, so his contribution into the history of this country can not be overestimated.
"For me, truly and ardently loving painting, there cannot be a better wish than to initiate a public Fine Arts repository, which is accessible to everybody and brings benefits to many and enjoyment to all" - he said.
Who Was Pavel Tretyakov?
Pavel Tretyakov was born into a merchant family on December 27, 1832. The Tretyakovs owned several shops in a Moscow mall, where Pavel permanently worked for 14 years. The boy had home schooling and was friendly with the Rubinstein brothers, who later became well-known personalities and patrons of music.
After his parents died Pavel headed the family business, and eventually expanded it. Jointly with his brother he founded the Association of Large Kostroma Linen Manufactory. Tretyakov enjoyed great prestige among merchants and was ardently engaged in politics and public activities, including care of the school for deaf children and support of the Orthodox Missionary Society.
Since childhood, Pavel Tretyakov, as well as his brother Sergei, was fond of art. In 1863 he married Vera Mamontova, who shared her husband's enthusiasm and supported all his initiatives.
How the Tretyakov Gallery Came to Be
"My idea was, from a very young age, to acquire so that the acquired by the society would return to the people through some useful institutions; the thought has never left me throughout my entire life," - Pavel Tretyakov wrote.
He acquired paintings by his contemporaries right from the artists' studios or at exhibitions, so he had a profound influence on the formation of Russian art school.
In addition to that, Pavel is known for the fact of financially supporting talented artists. The collector purchased whole series of works from artists. Thus, for example, he acquired more than 144 paintings from Pavel Vereshchagin. Later Pavel Tretyakov decided to create a gallery of portraits of famous countrymen and ordered portraits of contemporary art figures to the painters N.V. Nevrev, Nikolai Ge, Vassily Perov, Ivan Kramskoi and Ilya Repin. In 1890 Pavel started collecting old Russian art and Russian sculpture. Over his entire life he acquired 62 icons.
The Tretyakov Gallery became one of Russia's most important museums. News about it spread all over Europe, so it was a must for both educated Russians and Western travelers to visit the famous gallery. In August 1892 Pavel Tretyakov presented his whole gallery with all its collections to the city of Moscow, and the next year saw the grand opening of Pavel and Sergei Tretyakov Moscow City Gallery.
Author: Vera Ivanova