Main Building

Opening hours   Tuesday, Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday: 11 AM to 8 PM
Ticket office: 11 AM to 7 PM (last tickets sold at 7 p.m.)
    Thursday, Friday: 11 AM to 9 PM
Ticket office: 11 AM to 8 PM (last tickets sold at 8 p.m.)
Closed   Monday
Answerphone   +7 (495) 697-79-98 (Russian only)
Additional information   +7 (495) 697-95-78 (Russian only)
Excursion office   +7 (495) 697-74-15 (Russian only)
Address   Moscow, Russia, Volkhonka 12
Nearest metro stations   Metro Stations Kropotkinskaya, Borovitskaya, Lenin Library

Entrance fee

Combined tickets*:

  • Main building, 19th and 20th century European and American Art Gallery: 600 rubles / 400 rubles reduced fee

*valid for the permanent collection and temporary exhibitions (except those to wich tickets should be purchased separately), tickets are valid for 2 days.

The Art of Ancient EgyptThe Art of the Ancient Near EastAncient Troy and SchliemannAntique Art. Cyprus, Ancient Greece, Etruria and Ancient RomeThe Art of the Northern Black Sea RegionHellenistic and Roman Egypt, Coptic ArtByzantine Art. Italian Art of the 13th to 16th centuriesThe Art of Germany and the Netherlands. 15th-16th centuriesThe Art of Flanders. 17th centuryRembrandt and his SchoolDutch Art of the 17th centuryThe Greek CourtyardThe Italian Courtyard

Most of the ground floor contains original works of art. Here you will find the rooms of Ancient Egypt, ancient civilizations, antique originals, the collection of European painting from thirteenth to eighteenth century, and also two rooms of plaster casts, the Greek and Italian cortyards.

Room 16. The Art of Ancient Greece

The high-point in the flowering of art and culture in Ancient Greece was the 5th century BC, the era of classical Greek art. A gallery which has come to be called the Olympian Gallery is dedicated to the art of this period. The most famous works of that era are represented by plaster casts. The Persian wars (500-449 BC) serve as a dividing line between the Classical and the Archaic.

↓ Show full text

Composition from the pediment of the temple to Athena Aphaia on the island of Aegina (500-480 BC) are an echo of the battles that were beginning between the Greeks and the Persians. On the west pediment a battle for the body of a fallen warrior is depicted and the depiction on the east one is thought to reflect the myth about Heracles' war against the Trojan king, Laomedon. In the centre of both pediments was a depiction of Athena, who was the protectress of the main heroes.

The sculpted group fashioned by Critius and Nesiotes (c. 477 BC, a reconstruction), is a monument to real heroes, Harmodius and Aristogiton, slayers of tyrants, who rose up in 514 BC against the violent and arbitrary behaviour of the ruler Hipparchus. The group was set up in a market square and in antiquity it had already been perceived as the first public monument.

The statue of a horse-driver (c. 470 BC) found in the shrine of Apollo at Delphi was part of a more complex composition which incorporated the goddess Nike with her horses and chariot. The work had been specially ordered in honour of a victory in a horse race.

An outstanding work from the early Classical period is the series of altar reliefs, which on account of their find-spot have come to be known as the "Ludovisi Throne" (470-460 BC). In the centre is a depiction of the birth of Aphrodite emerging from the foam of the waves. Two nymphs (or moirai) are helping the goddess to rise to her feet and they are holding drapery in front of her. The female figures to the sides of the altar embody two hypostases of love – a naked hetaera playing the flute and a bride swathed in a long garment burning aromatic seeds.

The last works representing this early stage in the development of Greek Classical art are the sculptured depictions from the temple of Zeus at Olympia (465-456 BC). This triumphant composition portraying a sacrifice being made in honour of Zeus before the beginning of a race, used to adorn the east pediment of the temple. To complement this there had been a depiction of the battle of the Greek tribe of Lapiths against centaurs – half-men, half-horses – on the west pediment. The metopes from the temple at Olympia were the first to become canonical depictions of the twelve Labours of Heracles. The theme of battle is reflected in the remarkable statue of Nike created by the sculptor Paionios from Mende (420 BC). The statue had stood before the east façade of the temple of Zeus in Olympia.

The art of high Greek Classicism (mid-5th century BC) is represented in this Museum by the work of Myron, Phidias (see: the display in the Greek Courtyard) and Polykleitos. Myron (mid-5th century BC) was the eldest of the three. His statue of Discobolus (460-450 BC, reconstruction) depicts a discus thrower at the moment of a short pause between two stages of a swift movement. Another famous sculpture by Myron is a group consisting of Athena and Marsyas (460-450, reconstruction) illustrates the Greek myth about the victory of the goddess Athena, who personifies Reason, over the wild deity of the Forest – Marsyas, who personifies the wildness of unbridled passions and the forces of Nature.

Polykleitos, a sculptor from Argos (c. 480-430 BC) wrote a treatise about the ideal proportions of a strong male body – Canon. His principles were embodied in the statue of a spear-bearer, for which the Greek title is Doryphoros (420 BC, reconstruction) and a youth binding a victory fillet round his head (Diadoumenos).