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 26. European Art of the Middle Ages

In this Gallery casts and copies of outstanding works of Early Christian art of the medieval period from Byzantium and Western Europe are on display. In the history of West European medieval culture the period generally regarded as the Middle Ages ranges from the 5th to the 15th century, from the fall of the West Roman Empire in 476 to the beginning of the Renaissance era. The Middle Ages gave birth to a culture which differed from that of Classical Antiquity. This particular period was the time when the monotheistic Christian religion was predominant in Europe: its distinctive features were a striving to elaborate systems of learning and to develop theology. Within the framework of the predominant religious world outlook, art reflected man's new position in the world shaped by feudal society and upheld new spiritual and moral values, on the basis of which new aesthetics appeared.

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The prerequisites for the emergence of new imagery for medieval art had taken shape during the last stages of Classical Antiquity when Christianity appeared on the scene and, soon after, the institution of the Church. Typical for Early Christian works of art is their allegorical quality: the visible only hints at the hidden meaning of what has been depicted. An example of this is provided by the image of the "Good Shepherd", typical for Early Christianity. The image retained its significance right up until the 5th century, although its interpretation changed.

In the year 395 the Roman Empire was divided into West and East. Later historians termed the East Roman Empire Byzantium, drawn from the name of the Megarian colony of Byzantion, where the Roman emperor, Constantine I, founded Constantinople – the new capital of his empire. Works of Byzantine art from the 5th and 6th century in the churches of the Italian city of Ravenna have come down to us in an excellent state of preservation. Copies of these Ravenna mosaics are exhibited in this Gallery.

The Byzantines, heirs to the Classical world, maintained high levels of skills: they were the unchallenged leaders when it came to mosaic techniques, in which they gave instruction to craftsmen from other parts of Europe. The mosaics in St. Mark's Cathedral in Venice were executed in the 13th century under the influence of Byzantine models: in this Gallery visitors will see copies made using 19th-century techniques.

A very different picture surfaces when we consider the path followed by artists from Western European countries. Barbarian conquests destroyed many of the achievements of an ancient civilization. Familiarization of the newcomers with the culture of Classical Antiquity, above all that of Rome, involved a tortuous and difficult journey. The development of art in Western Europe passed through several stages: the two most significant of which were those of Romanesque (10th to mid-12th century) and Gothic (late-12th to 15th century) art. The art of the Holy Roman Empire founded in the 10th century by German emperors of the Ottonian dynasty served as a preamble to the Romanesque. One of the important centres during the Ottonian period was the episcopal see of Hildesheim, where outstanding works of medieval art were created in foundry workshops.

In the 10th-13th centuries the valley of the River Maas (modern Belgium) became an important artistic centre. A cast of an outstanding work created by a foundry craftsman, who could have been René Huyghe, is exhibited in this Gallery.

France was the home of Gothic art (the name is somewhat arbitrary since artists working during the Renaissance considered the art of that period as something which had originated from the tribe of the Goths, who had routed Rome in the 5th century) and it was in the royal domain of the Île-de-France that this new art came into being in the 1230s and 1240s. This gallery contains casts of sculptures from some of the most celebrated Gothic cathedrals of France – Chartres, Paris, Rheims and Amiens.

By the end of the first third of the 13th century French Gothic art had begun to penetrate into the countries of her neighbours. Work in the "French manner" – as Gothic art was referred to at the time – manifested itself initially in sculpture in the possessions of the German Emperor in the 1230s. During the first half of the 13th century outstanding sculptural ensembles were created in Strasbourg, Bamberg and Naumburg. Casts of these works are on show in the Gallery.

The path of development followed by Italy was a rather different one. Humanist ideas took root there early: knowledge and memories of the culture of the Classical Age were more vivid in a country where many works of that era had survived. As early as the 13th century the cultural movement – later to be known as the Renaissance – was beginning to take root. Forerunners of the Italian Renaissance were the poet Dante, the painter Giotto and the sculptor Nicola Pisano: a cast of Pisano's central work can be viewed in this Gallery – the pulpit in the Pisa Baptistery. In the 14th century new currents could be felt in the North of Europe as well in the Netherlands. The Dutch sculptor, Claus Sluter, who worked in the French city of Dijon, created one of the most monumental works of his day – "The Well of Moses".