2017-06-07 / Features

Tretyakov Gallery Of Moscow And The George Costakis Collection

Off The Beaten Trail:
BY CATHERINE TSOUNIS


The State Tretyakov Gallery of Moscow. The State Tretyakov Gallery of Moscow. A haunting building from long ago houses masterpieces of world art that span 1,000 years. The State Tretyakov Gallery has the appearance of a Russian fairy tale. Featured is a statue of Moscow merchant Pavel Mikhailovich which dominates the courtyard. A beautiful rose standing alone in the courtyard symbolizes the love of the Russian people for their art history. The dedicated mission of George Costakis to save modern avant-garde art during the communist era is on display. George Costakis was born in Moscow of affluent Greek parents. He was not an artist, but a businessman who never went to university. After WWII, he rediscovered the revolutionary art of 1917, which would have been lost. The Russian art of the 20th century, featuring contemporary artists, is on display at the Tretyakov Gallery at 10 Krymsky Val.

Our guide, Irina Chetina, made the portraits of Catherine The Great come alive. Her narrations showed us how the average Russian treasures their history. The building was designed by Viktor Vasnetsov between 1900 and 1905. The gallery started as the private collection of 19th century industrial brothers Tretyakov. Pavel was a patron of the Peredvizhniki (Wanderers), a group of 19th century painters who broke away from the conservative Academy of Arts. They began depicting common people and social problems; nowadays, they are among Russia’s most celebrated painters. The collection contains more than 130,000 exhibits, ranging from Theotokos of Vladimir and Andrei Rublev’s Trinity to the monumental Composition VII by Vassily Kandinsky and the Black Square by Kazimir Malevich. In 1977, the gallery kept a significant part of the George Costakis collection.



Rose blooming in front of the State Tretyakov Gallery of Moscow. Rose blooming in front of the State Tretyakov Gallery of Moscow.

Guide Irina showing Catherine the Great, adored by the author’s family because she freed Tseme from Turkey for a few years. Guide Irina showing Catherine the Great, adored by the author’s family because she freed Tseme from Turkey for a few years.

Modern art, George Costakis Collection. Modern art, George Costakis Collection.

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