Most museums of the world contain the collections of art of different countries: Italy, the Netherlands, Spain, etc. But the Tretyakov Gallery has very narrow specialization – there kept a huge collection of Russian painting from the first portraitists of the beginning of XVIII century to the painters of the Soviet period.
It was called after the merchant Paul Tretyakov who gave to Moscow his collection of Russian painting in 1892. Actually, it was just the collection that became the foundation of what the Tretyakov Gallery is today.
The Tretyakov Gallery is of a great interest for all foreign tourists who want to make a closer acquaintance with the cultural life of Russia. At least as interesting collection of Russian painting is kept at the Russian Museum in St. Petersburg.
At the gallery one can see both small pictures and portraits and vast canvases of the famous Russian painters: Surikov, Repin, Brulov, Aivazovsky, Ivanov, Vasnetsov, Shishkin, Vereshchagin and many others.
The exposition of ancient Russian art is located in several dozens of halls in a separate building. There one can see a big collection of ancient icons, as well as religious objects.
Apart from the halls of ancient Russian art, the Tretyakov Gallery has the Family Chapel of St. Nicolas the Miracle-Maker at Tolmachi. Religious services are constantly conducted there, and in-between the services the temple is open for visitors of the Tretyakov Gallery. The church has a great number of most valuable Russian icons, including the most sacred thing of the Russian Church – the Icon of the Mother of God of Vladimir. The icon was painted by the evangelist St. Luke and was brought to Russia from Byzantine Empire in XII century.