On May 10 (Julian date) 1856, artist Vasily Khudyakov issued a receipt for a security deposit he got in exchange for his painting, The Encounter with Finnish Smugglers. This small sheet is of great value today: it is from this paper that the history of Russia’s most important museum – the Tretyakov Gallery – had begun. Nor are wrong those who, together with Pavel Mikhailovich Tretyakov, consider Temptation, a painting by Shilder, the origin of the museum. A painting with a symbolic name has a different priority: this was the first painting specially commissioned for the collection. Enthralled by the Russian painting art, the merchant and industrialist Tretyakov collected paintings throughout his life, donating his collection to his native city in his later years. It is there to be valued by the posterity!
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