Russian Painting of the 18th - Beginning of the 20th Centuries





         At the Omsk Regional M.A. Vrubel Museum of Fine Arts are kept some unique works of foreign art culture still poorly known both in Russia and abroad today. Small by its number (178 units of storage) the collection is diverse enough and includes alongside with works by known masters of the Western Europe of the 16th – 19th centuries works by the forgotten artists of the 17th – 19th centuries, and also works by authors of the beginning of the 20th century.
         The forming of the foreign painting collection started arrivals from the State Museum Fund (the Leningrad branch) of 1927-1932. Before that the works were in collections of P.A. Stroganov, K.A. Gorchakov, Å.À. Vorontsova-Dashkova, Count von Benkendorf, Princes Yusupovs, E.G. Saxen-Aldenburg, O.D. Sheremetev, A.M. Somov, A.K. Faberge, P.P. Durnovo, A.Y. Savichev, and also the State Hermitage, Novo-Mikhailovsky Palace, the State Russian Museum. There were also arrivals of local character - from the Omsk M.A. Vrubel Artistic - Industrial Technical School museum in 1932 and from private citizens.
         The basis of the collection made the works of western painters of the 18th -19th centuries. Its classification is made by the countries and national schools; among them are works of masters from Italy, Holland, Flanders, France, Germany, England, Switzerland, Poland, and Belgium.
         In the genre relation in the specified section prevail biblical, mythological and religious subjects. To the most significant works we can attribute A. Tiarini's canvas “Christ Visited by Abhar’s Messengers”, a part of the altar composition by the unknown Italian artist of the end of the 16th - beginning of the 17th century “Saint Agnes and Cecily”, a picture by the unknown artist of the beginning of of 17th century “Madonna with Christ and John the Baptist.”
         Allegorical compositions are represented by pair works by German artist A. Kauffmann (allegories of Justice and Virtue), French painter E. Dubufe (allegories of Music and Poetry).
         Peculiarities of the Dutch landscape are traced in the works by A. Van de Welde “Landscape with Figures,” J. Wynants “Landscape with a Sandy Hillside and a Wayfarer”, A. Schelfhout “Winter in Holland.”
         Of the big interest is a section of the French and Dutch still-lives: M. de Boullion “Vanitas,” J. Weenix “Hunting Trophies,” M. Hondecoeter “Poultry Yard.”
         The variety of an everyday life genre is characterized by compositions by D. Teniers, Jr. “Rural Festival,” R. Beischlag “Girl with a Cat,” O. Piltz “In the Kitchen. Baking Pancakes.”
         The portrait section is not numerous, but it is necessary to note a sentimental
“Head,” “Daydreamer” by French portraitist J.-B. Greuze, and a work by Austrian painter J.-B. Lampi “Portrait of Ekaterina II.”
         The most numerous and bright by its structure is the section of the Netherlands painting - 50 units of storage, among which - a biblical topic by the Flemish artist of the 17th century F. Franken II “Solomon’s Idolatry,” two paired pictures by the Antwerp artist B. van der Bossche “In the Painter’s Studio,” “In the Sculptor’s Studio.”
         The section of the French painting - 27 units of storage (J.R. Brascassat “Resting Bull,” C.J. Vernet “Evening at the Sea,” S. Vouet “Madonna with the Child,” H. Fantin-Latour “Chrysanthemum”) is most fully formed.
         By high art qualities are distinguished works from the collection of Prince N.B. Yusupov - 19 units of storage (P.F. Grebber “Portrait of a Woman,” I. van Ostade “Group of Peasants drinking in a Tavern,” J.P. Hackert “Port of Messina).
         Of special value are works from a collection of E.G. Saxen-Altenburg, the spouse of Prince Albert Saxen-Altenburg - 6 units of storage (“Card Play” by the unknown artist of the 17th century imitating D. Teniers, “Still-life with Flowers and a Book” by J.B. Robie, “Scene of Everyday Life” by the unknown Dutch artist of the 19th century).
         The part of a collection is made of works by the artists working in new stylistic directions of art of the 20th century. In this section it is necessary to distinguish M. Malits's picture “Landscape with a Haystack,” and also works by Hungarian painters of the 1970s “City and a Ship” by M. Galner, “Memory about the War” by P. Mizher, “Bend of Danube” by I. Uzhi.
         In the 1980s the collection replenished due to purchases from antiquarian shops, private collections of Moscow and Leningrad, due to transfers of works by orders of the Ministry of Culture of the USSR and RSFSR. During the period from 1981 to 1988 to the collection arrived 28 units of storage.