New Museum Opens in Moscow

The all-new Museum of the Russian Icon, has opened in Moscow, boasting a huge collection of Russian Orthodox art

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The all-new Museum of the Russian Icon, that has just opened doors here in Moscow by the well-known businessman and art patron Mikhail Abramov, boasts a huge collection of Russian Orthodox art.

"I always wanted to have an icon of Michael the Archangel at home because he is my namesake... This one, painted in the 16th century, became the first in my collection," Mikhail says. "Then I acquired another one, got in touch with experts and started getting seriously interested in this whole matter…"

This was the beginning of a wonderful collection, which is held in very high regard by experts in ancient Russian art. Including Lev Livshits, who talked to our correspondent.

While in the Tretyakov Gallery you can find absolute masterpieces, here you get an idea of how big rivers are formed, figuratively speaking, when small rivulets come together building up to what we call Russian national art culture…

The new museum features, among other things, a unique collection of 17th century icons painted in northwestern Russia, of the so-called “Pskov school” of icon painting. Another extremely rare exhibit is the Miraculous Icon of Mother of God-Odigitria, signed by the famous Russian graphic artist Simon Usjakov, who introduced many elements of West European art into the ancient Byzantine tradition of icon painting.

Another big highlight here is the so-called “architectural” collection of icons where the Saints are shown against the background of ancient churches. One icon, dating back to the 18th century, shows the outlines of the famous Solovki Monasteray on the White Sea. The oldest icon is of St. Nicholas of Myra which goes back to the 14th century…

The exposition of the Museum of the Russian Icon will be updated all the time because only about half of the 8,000-piece collection is now on display. The museum will soon be showcasing, together with the Moscow Patriarchate, a vast collection of Russian Orthodox art, first in New York City and other places across the United States.

Sources: The Voice of Russia
29 January, 2011