Art Trip : Russian Museum, St Petersburg, Russia

You go to St Petersburg to see the Ermitage museum, obviously, but what you find out later is that there is no Russian art there. Where is it then, you ask yourself ? At the Russian Museum of course. That modest collection of 400 000 pieces (there seems to be no such thing as a small museum or small collection in St Petersburg, you always read about new buildings being annexed, and collections overflowing into one another).

The Russian Museum is indeed vast, oscillating between dusty and grandiose and with a collection that calmly goes from pompous to brilliant. Some of it had a fabulously never-seem-before taste to me, the folk art section in particular with its incredible colors and patterns.

If like me you never can’t get enough of that Russian sense of drama, you’re bound to have a fantastic time there trying to decide which is madness and which is just mischief.

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Russian Museum, Inzhenernaya St, 4, St Petersburg, opening times are here

Bien sûr, on va à St Petersbourg pour le musée de l’Ermitage, c’est plus tard qu’on réalise que ce n’est pas vraiment là qu’on verra de l’art russe. Mais où se trouve-t-il alors, on se demande ? Et bien au Russian Museum, évidemment. Cette “modeste” collection de 400 000 pièces (il ne semble n’y avoir ni petite collection, ni de petits musées dans cette ville où il est toujours question d’annexer de nouveaux bâtiments pour accueillir les œuvres et de collections devenues impossibles à stocker que l’on refile au musée voisin).

Et, en effet, ce Russian Museum est de belle taille. Il oscille tranquillement entre poussiéreux et grandiose (comme souvent ce genre d’institutions) tandis que sa collection, elle, va du plus pompeux à labsolument brillant. Une bonne partie de ce qui est présenté avait un fabuleux goût de jamais-vu pour moi, notamment la grande section d’art populaire, pleine de trésors des quatre coins de la Russie.

Si, comme moi, vous êtes bons clients de ce sens du drame à la Russe, vous y passerez c‘est sûr un excellent moment, à démêler ce qui relève de la folie où simplement de la fantaisie…

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Russian Museum, Inzhenernaya St, 4, St Petersburg, les horaires sont ici

2 Comments

  • Reply December 30, 2015

    Jenna

    I love the tones in these photos! Did you look for blues and oranges or was it curated this way? These pieces are stunning, I need to go one day.

    xx
    scarlettandgiselle.blogspot.com

    • Reply January 3, 2016

      The Voyageur

      Hi Jenna,

      Thanks!
      The blues and oranges are definitely a big part of the general palette, especially in the folk art section. The line between red and orange is sometimes fuzzy, and I wonder if some of them started out as reds and got washed out…

      The collection is really worth the trip, and it’s so easy to get to St Petersburg by train from Finland…

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