The Rostov regional Museum of Pictorial Arts is located at the city historical center, at one of the most beautiful city streets – street Pushkinskaya. The old mansion with a forge fence was constructed by a well-known Rostov architect N.A. Doroshenko in 1898 and belonged before the revolution to the Vladikavkaz Railway Administration lawyer A.A. Petrov.
Since 1958, the regular museum exposition “Russian Art of the 17th – beginning of the 20th century” is located at mansion’s spacious halls, decorated by amazing ceiling molding (former living-rooms). The Ancient Russian Art section presents icons of the Moscow painting style of the late period (16-17 century), icons of the 18th – 19th century, collected during the expeditions to the Russia central part villages, near the town of Vladimir and collection of “northern style painting” from the Archangelsk region, assembled in the 1950th by the Rostov architect Pyankov.
The exposition is arranged in the historic chronological order, reflecting the basic stages of the civil realistic painting development, starting with a portrait of the 17th century – “Ataman M.S. Samoilovich’s portrait” and “Ataman Ermak’s portrait” (beginning of the 18th century).
The 18th century is represented by the glamorous flourishing of the aristocracy and celebrate portrait (“Portrait of Prince Pavel Petrovich” by A.P. Antropov).
The museum’s pride is the Russian Art collection of the 19th century. The first half of the century is mainly represented by portrait and landscape paintings by famous artists (“Portrait of writer I.G. Butovskiy” by A.G. Varnek, “Portrait of merchant Sorokoumovskiy” by V.A. Tropinin, “Moonlit night”, “Pompea ruins” by I.K. Aivazovskiy, “Storm” by L.F. Lagorio).
The contemporary society problems were reflected at such painting as “Peasant” by V.E. Makovskiy, “Orphans” by M.P. Clodt, “Abandoned” by N.L. Skladovskiy. The museum displays a refine subtle portrait of N.I. Kramskoy’s son Serezha, emotional, philosophical landscapes “Alley”, “Autumn” by I.I. Levitan.
The significant and interesting part of the museum exposition is the works by the artists of the 19th – beginning of the 20th century, peculiar in the diversity of new themes, images and expressional means: “Roses” by K.A. Korovin, “In port” by N.M. Grigoriev, “The red-hair model at a carpet background” by I.I. Mashkov, “Fountain” by I.I. Brodskiy, “Self-portrait” by ,E.S. Kruglikova, “Apple-trees in blossom” by D.D. Burlyuk, “A girl” by G.K. Artemov.
The museum comprises sections of Russian Art of the 18th – beginning of 20th century, foreign and modern Russian Art, the art collections consist of over six thousand painting, graphic, sculpture, applied art masterpieces.
The Rostov regional museum of pictorial arts is the only museum in the South of Russia, displaying a small, but outstanding in quality collection of west-European art of the 18th – 19th century. The museum funds represent all the basic European schools of that period: Italian, Holland, Flemish, French, and German. The foreign art section also displays masterpieces by Oriental artists – sculpture and applied art from China and Japan.
The Children Art Gallery, established as the Museum section, celebrated its 25th anniversary in 2006. This type of gallery, organized as a “grown-up museum” with a separate building, situated at Chekhov’s street 60, exhibition halls, gallery funds, scientific workers’ staff, is unrivaled in Russia, and has no similar institutions even in Moscow and Saint Petersburg.
At present, the Children Art Gallery is closed for reconstruction; the new 4-storey building is being erected nearby for the future museum complex.
The contemporary Rostov regional Museum of Pictorial Arts is involved in active collecting, lecturing, excursion and exhibiting work. The Museum is a basis for “Music in painting” club, the city lecturing club, a number of educational activities for students “Greetings to the Museum”.