Scientific-research Museum of the Russian Academy of Arts is a unique art collection not only in Russia, but throughout the world. It was established in the middle of the 18th century simultaneously with the Academy of Arts and appeared to become a truly unique collection. Only here, getting acquainted with the works of the students and the teachers one can see the first steps of the future artist and which steps lead to the mastership highlights. The Academy of Arts holds the drawings, engravings, paintings of Russian and West European masters, as well as casts of antique and West European sculptures which served as models for drawing in classes of “plaster heads” and “plaster figures”.
The building of the Academy of Arts itself which was built in 1764-1772 according to the design of Kokorinov and de la Mothe, two teachers of the Academy of Arts’ architecture class, represents an outstanding architecture monument of early Russian Classicism attributed to “especially valuable cultural heritage objects”. Russian painters and sculptors of the 18th-19th centuries decorating ceremonial interiors, the present residence of the Museum of Academy of Arts, embodied the idea of importance of arts in the life of the educated society and in Russia’s destiny and strived to give the younger generations of masters of “three most distinguished arts” the idea of their honorable calling. Academy’s House Church, Raphael and Titian halls were decorated in 1830s after the design of Ton, the author of the Christ the Savior Cathedral in Moscow, rector of the Academy of Arts in 1840s-1850s.
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Permanent exhibitions of the Scientific-Research Museum are presented on three floors of the “circle” – internal concentric block of the Academy’s building. Galleries “running around” the internal round yard of the building (of 55 m diameter) form a unique exhibition room.
The 1st floor holds the department of casts, masterpieces of the antique sculpture, as well as the models of antique architecture monuments made in the 18th century of cork in the workshop of Chichi, a Roman patternmaker and sculptor. This collection is unique in its completeness and artistic value: many of the gathered casts are molded straight from the original works in 18th-19th centuries.
The 2nd floor holds the exhibition devoted to the history of the Russian artistic school. The exhibited items of the department are majorly the works which were made in the course of study and training program (graduation works) and created by the students of the Academy in finishing the study of painting, architecture or graphics. Furthermore, it also represents the works which brought academic titles to their painters, as well as the portraits of historic figures whose activity was connected with the Academy of Arts. The exhibition also holds the works of such painters, as Losenko, Borovikovsky, Bryullov, P.P. Chistyakov, Kustodiyev, Brodsky; and such engravers as: A.P. Ostroumova-Lebedeva, sculptors Shubin, Kozlovsky, Shchedrin, Prokofyev, Antokolsky and many other masters.
Located on the third floor exhibition “Saint Petersburg Architecture of the 18th-19th centuries in patterns, paintings and drawings” acquaints us with the works of outstanding architects of the past. Unique design patterns of prominent St. Petersburg architecture monuments – Smolny Cathedral, Isaac Cathedral, Mikhailovsky Palace, Stock Exchange and others are of great interest.
The Ceremonial halls located along the Neva façade of the building of the Academy of Arts expose the produced in the 19th century replicas of the works of 16th-18th century Italian masters, among which are the copies of Titian paintings (particularly the copy of the lost in the 19th century composition “Murder of St. Peter Dominican”, a masterpiece of Titian’s later creative work) and almost completely reproduced cycle of Raphael’s frescos in the Vatican castle stanze. These works were made in the middle of the 19th century by the beneficiaries of the Academy of Arts and remind of the tradition of improvement of young artists abroad which had existed in the Emperor Academy of Arts for over 150 years.
The Ceremonial halls regularly place exhibitions of local and foreign masters of painting; traditional for the Academy’s Museum have become the exhibitions of the Summer practice and Graduation works of the students from the Institute of Painting, Sculpture and Architecture after I.Ye.Repin, as well as the Spring Exhibition representing the works of its teachers.
The museum is open for the visitors from 11 till 18. Non-working days are Monday and Tuesday. Ordering excursions by phone: 323-35-78