The Tretyakov Art Gallery is the second largest museum of the Russian art in the world. It houses a large collection of the Russian decorative and applied art from 11th to 20th century. The museum's 130,000 exhibits represent a wide range of genres including icons, paintings, sculpture and graphics.
The gallery was founded by the Russian collector Tretyakov in 1856. He desired to create a national gallery of the Russian art and to leave it for the enjoyment of the future generations. During his lifetime Tretyakov managed to collect about 2,000 items which he made available to the public. Today's vast collection of the museum is a continuation of his efforts in preserving authentic works of the Russian art.
The gallery is housed in two different buildings. The earlier works of art dating back to the period from 11th to early 20th century are located in the old building in Lavrushinsky Pereulok. The visitor can view excellent collections of medieval Russian icon-painting, and other famous paintings by some of the best known Russian artists. The world renowned Old Testament Trinity by Andrei Rublev is on display in this museum.
20th century Russian art is housed in a new building of the gallery located in Krymsky Val. Here one can view works by the famous Russian avant-garde artists of early 20th century Malevich, Kandinsky, Shagal, and Filonov. Other exhibits include art works featuring "social realism" of the 1930s - 1950s, and the "second wave" of avant-garde of 1960s - 1980s.