Museum of Russian Art opens in Prague
A visitor looks at the painting 'Distributing Supplies' by Ivan Aivazovsky
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A new private museum focusing on Russian art of the 18th to 20th centuries will open in the centre of Prague on December 7, the owner of the museum and its collection, Valery Larionov, told journalists Thursday.
The museum, seated in the Hotel Rott building near the Old Town Square, presents more than 250 paintings.
Larionov said most of the works on display have been bought in the Czech Republic.
"I dealt with Russian artists' work in the Czech Lands for a long time. I bought the pictures in antiquity and second hand shops, at auctions and from private collectors," Larionov, who has lived in the Czech Republic for 15 years, told CTK.
The presented works of art include paintings by Isaak Levitan, Ivan Ayvazovsky, Ilya Repin, Vasily Polenov, Alexey Bogolyubov, Alexander Benua and Zinaida Serebryakova, whose works also figure in Russian and world galleries' collections.
One of the masterpieces is an 18th-century portrait of Peter the Great by an unknown author. St Petersburg wanted to buy it for the celebration of its 300th foundation anniversary, Larionov said.
"I kept the paintings at home and only my family could enjoy them. It find it important that they can also been seen by other lovers of Russian art," he said.
He said the museum should become a cultural centre to host meetings of artists, seminars and workshops for talented children.
The paintings on display include those by the Russian artists who fled the bolshevik regime and sought refuge in the then Czechoslovakia in the 1920s. They included painters who completed their studies in Prague owing to the then Czechoslovak government's help, Larionov said.
He said many paintings by Russian artists are kept in the depositories of the Czech galleries in Prague, Olomouc (north Moravia) and Teplice (north Bohemia).
However, the so far latest Czech exhibition of Russian art took place in Prague in 2003.
Larionov said he plans to make changes in his museum exhibition from time to time.
Source: Prague Daily Monitor