Stavropol Regional Museum of Fine Arts
Stavropol Territory, Stavropol, ul. Dzerzhinskogo, 115-119
Phones: +7 (8652) 26-54-84
Web site: http://www.artmuseum26.ru/
Trace the development of art in the Stavropol region back through the ages The Stavropol Regional Museum of Fine Arts is one of the largest in the North Caucasus and hosts the only large-scale collection of art treasures in the region. It consists of antique art, classical Western European art, and Russian art of the pre-revolutionary period, with a collection of icon paintings, modern art and applied and decorative arts sections.
The museum houses a small but varied collection of foreign art which presents the heritage of antique culture, art of Western Europe and countries of the East, as well as modern works of art. It includes more than 500 paintings and graphic works, along with samples of arts and crafts and sculpture. Of note are the aquafortis by Rembrandt van Rijn, as well as works by Lagrené Louis senior, Angelica Kaufman, Antonik Waterloo and Kitagawa Utamaro. The collection of portraits pertains to the period from the 17th to the early 20th centuries. The earliest item of the collection is the Portrait of Ermak Timofeevich Povolsky. The Portrait of Grand Duke Pavel Petrovich in his childhood, the Portrait of Grand Duke Alexander Pavlovich in his younger years, and the Portrait of Paul I created by Shchukin are interesting from a historical as well as artistic perspective. Among the 19th century landscape masterpieces, you can see the romantic canvases of Meshchersky, paintings by Aivazovsky and six works by Bogolyubov. The museum also displays a rich collection of works by the Association of the Itinerants, namely 67 paintings by 33 artists.
The Museum of Fine Arts occupies three buildings which are recognized as architectural monuments of federal significance. These are merchant mansions that were built on the former Aleksandrovskaya Street in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. After the revolution, they were declared property of the state; at different times they housed workshops, a library, a registry office, and also passport and visa services. In 1961, they partly came into the possession of the new Museum of Fine Arts. The museum collection essentially consists of paintings, graphic works and works of applied art which previously belonged to the art section of the Stavropol Museum of Local Lore. The history of how the museum’s collection formed is of special interest. It is based on a collection that belonged to the Alafuzov merchants who lived in the provincial town of Stavropol in the 19th century. In the 1920s, the State Museum Fund sent the paintings by Bryullov, Vasnetsov, Levitan and Makovsky to Stavropol. In the 1930s, the museum received paintings by Aivazovsky, Zankovsky and Roubaud from the Museum of Mountain Peoples in Rostov-on-Don, as well as landscape pictures of Kuindzhi and Bogolyubov from the State Russian Museum. In the 1960s, works from the Hermitage, the Russian Museum and the Novosibirsk Art Gallery vaults were transferred to the newly formed museum and the collection of icon painting was formed. Today it is the largest art collection in the Stavropol Territory, counting about 25,000 works of Russian and foreign art of the 16th to 21st centuries.
The museum building at 119, Dzerzhinsky Street belonged to Isai Arutyunov, a famous wine merchant, whose wine cellars welcomed guests throughout the province. On the ground floor of the building, Isai Grigorievich opened his famous tavern serving Kakhetian wines and barbecue meat, and furnished accommodations could be found on the upper floor. At one time, the house at 117, Dzerzhinsky Street was purchased by the hotelier Grigory Troyakov. He opened the Grand Hotel here, which quickly gained popularity owing to its affordable prices and remarkable menu. The advertisement of the establishment ran as follows: “Smirnovka and white rowanberry vodka; pancakes with granular caviar served daily; fish soup with open pies; Dvinskaya salmon, navaga and hazel grouse; and a Ladies String Orchestra conducted by Madame Louise plays for you daily, starring Madam Rera Violetta...” The founder of the Alafuzov merchant family, whose collection formed the core of the first museum collection, was a Greek who had moved to the Stavropol region from the island of Santorini. By the 1960s, he was already a 1st guild merchant and an honorary citizen of Stavropol.