Irkutsk Fine Art Gallery
The main building of the Irkutsk Fine Art Gallery named after V.P. Sukachov is located on Lenin street in Irkutsk. This picture gallery is one of the biggest art museums in Russia. It grew from a private collection of Mr. Vladimir Sukachov who was the general governor of Eastern Siberia and the eminent person. Mr. Sukachov was a descendant of the noble family from St. Petersburg on his fathers’ side and of the Trapeznikovs’ – the wealthy merchant family well known in Siberia, on his mother’s side.
Vladimir was the fifth of the Sukachevs’s six children. He began his education at home, then graduated from Irkutsk Gymnasium, the main educational establishment of the region and continued his education in Kiev and St. Petersburg. Sukachov had personally known many painters. He met the Tretyakov brothers in Moscow. It was him who began to collect works of art in Irkutsk, Siberia. His collection began with icons, but then acquired representative works of almost all periods of art. Sukachov studied in Saint-Petersburg and attended salons, auctions where he could purchase new masterpieces. Later, in order to enrich the collection he began to order sculptures and pictures from Paris and Munich.
By the end of the XIX-th century his collection accounted for 130 pieces of art which was a very sound number for Russia and especially Siberia of those times. Thus, one may say that Sukchov was the second Tretyakov, another reach Russian merchant who established the famous picture gallery in Moscow. After the Sukachovs family moved to St. Petersburg, Vladimir Sukachov came to Irkutsk only on occasional visits. Sukachov granted his collection to the city of Irkutsk. On February 21, 1920 the gallery was nationalized and became the Irkutsk Regional Art Museum.
Currently the museum collection includes 20 thousand exhibits. It has some authentic works of art that one cannot even find in Tretyakovka Gallery in Moscow and Hermitage in St. Petersburg. Today, Irkutsk Fine Art Museum is one of the biggest museums in Russia. It recently had the honor to host Faberge eggs collection that had a real success. The museum had to work till 8 pm in the evening to accept all visitors how formed a huge line even outside the museum premises to see the amazing jewelry collection…