Moscow: Tretyakov Gallery

Founded by a legendary appreciator of Russian art. Before Pavel Tretyakov opened his gallery, he collected art for four decades. Originally, this was to be a private collection accumulated for his own family to appreciate. Inspired, though, by the St. Petersburg gallery of Fedor Pryanishnikov, Tretyakov came to the idea that there should exist a public gallery in which Russian art could inspire Russian ideas among its viewers. He even sponsored a society of great Moscow artists he called “The Wanderers” in 1870, who in turn provided him with an ever-growing collection of select work with which to fulfill his vision. The gallery opened at long last in mid-August 1894, after which Moscow authorities agreed to receive it as a public institution. Ever since, even during Soviet times, the Tretyakov has been synonymous with the best in Russian art.