The State Russian Museum houses the world's largest collection of Russian applied and decorative art from the 10th century to the present day.
The museum is located in the Mikhailovksy Palace built in 1825 by the Italian architect Rossi. It was originally constructed for Grand Duke Michael, the youngest son of Paul I. In 1895 the palace was given to "The Russian Museum of Alexander III" and in March 1898 the museum opened its doors to the public for the first time.
The State Russian Museum reflects virtually every form and genre of art in Russia. It has a fine collection of old Russian icons, including several superb works by Andrei Rublev. The museum's greatest pride is its immense collection of 18th - 20th century paintings representing all major artistic trends in the Russian art. It also has the world's finest collection of the Russian avant-garde. The visitor can see works by Levitsky, Venetzianov, Brullov, Aivazovsky, Vrubel, Shagal, Kandinsky, Malevich and many others.
The Russian Museum also houses vast collections of graphic art, sculpture, decorative and applied art, folk art and numismatics. The Russian Folk Art Collection was started in 1950. It represents examples of creative endeavor from the 17th century to the present day. Various samovars, laces, shawls, embroidery, ceramics and other exhibits are on display.
A number of other architectural monuments form a part of the Russian Museum. These include the Marble Palace, the Michael's Castle, the Stroganoff Palace, and the Summer Garden.