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Collection Gems: Lviv State Picture Gallery & Odesa Fine Arts Museum

Over the last few weeks, Bridgeman Images has watched events in Ukraine unfold with the rest of the world. We're extremely saddened to learn that among the atrocities being committed is the destruction of Ukraine's historic and cultural heritage sites, including museums and galleries. We stand in solidarity with Ukraine and would like to spotlight our Ukrainian museum partners for this month's Collection Gems blog post.

Specifically, we're spotlighting content from the Odesa Fine Arts Museum and the Lviv State Picture Gallery. Discover the backgrounds of these two fantastic collections below.

Ukraine is home to several thousand museums. Art Museums in Ukraine hold some of the world's most exceptional art collections. Here are some examples of the country's greatest art treasures…

 

On the Steps (oil on canvas), Peter Alexandrovich Nilus (1869-1943) / Odessa Fine Arts Museum, Ukraine / © Odessa Art Museum / Bridgeman Images

 

Lviv State Picture Gallery

Borys Voznytsky Lviv National Art Gallery is the largest art museum in Ukraine. The collection contains over 620,000 artworks including works of Ukrainian, Polish, French, Italian, Dutch & Flemish, Spanish and Austrian artists. The artwork is divided into three major collections, housed in the historic Lozynsky and Potocki Palaces. The Lozynsky palace was the site of the original 1907 collection. The gallery additionally has holdings in fifteen small museums and historical buildings in or close to Lviv. The Lviv art gallery first formally opened in 1907, however in 1897 there was a clear decision to found a municipal art gallery. Artworks range from the 14th through to the 20th centuries. The collection boasts displays by famous artists including Goya, Rubens, Mengs and de la Turet.
 

The Sun in Winter, 1929 (oil on canvas), Wladyslaw Jarocki (1879-1965) / Lviv State Picture Gallery, Ukraine / Bridgeman Images

 

During the early Soviet era and WWII the museum experienced grave difficulties. The Soviets associated the museum and its collection with distrust and antipathy. The military counter intelligence organisation - SMERSH - kidnapped and executed the wartime director Ivan Ivanets in Russian territory in 1946. The museum came under the directorship of revered art historian Borys Voznytsky during the 1960s and the 1990s. In 2013, the Lviv National Gallery of Arts became the Boriz Vozynytsky Lviv National Gallery of Arts, in recognition of Vosznytsky’s more than 40 years of service in the role. 

 

The First Word of Soviet Power - Peinture de Nikolai Ivanovich Osenev (1909-1983). State Art Gallery, Lviv (Ukraine). / Lviv State Picture Gallery, Ukraine / Photo © Fine Art Images / Bridgeman Images

 

The Lozynsky Palace holds the collection of European Art in the 19th and 20th centuries - otherwise known as the Museum of Modernism. The museum's chronological sequence begins from the early 19th century -- a period of intense political chaos in the region. The stylistic principle of the gallery's layout is intended to reveal the complexity and diversity of artistic life. The prized works of Francois Gerard, Peter Kholodny, Jan Matejika, Yaroslava Muzyka and Jacek Malczweski are all included in the collection. The art halls of Lviv, 1900 - 1930, are acquainted with the works of artists who were members of the ‘New Generation’. Both Polish and Ukrainian artists' work reflect the features of tragedy of those forced to emigrate from the country. Key holdings in the collection include Wojciech Kossak’s painting Spring, 1813, a painting which illustrates the tragic events of the death of Napoleon's troops in the war of 1812. 
 

Le prince Ivan. (Ivan Tsarevich).  Ivan Yakovlevich Bilibin (1876-1942), Watercolour on Paper. State Art Gallery, Lviv (Ukraine). / Lviv State Picture Gallery, Ukraine / Photo © Fine Art Images / Bridgeman Images

 

The Potocki Palace, designed by Parisian architect Louis Dovern is today the home of European art of the 14th and 18th centuries. The halls on the first floor are dedicated to a historical recreation of the palace’s original interiors, whilst the second floor holds one of the richest collections of European art in Ukraine. Over 150 artworks are included in the gallery’s Dutch and Flemish collection.

 

Study for 'The Defence of Petrograd', 1927 (gouache on paper), Aleksandr Aleksandrovic Dejneka, (1899-1969) / Odessa Fine Arts Museum, Ukraine / © Odessa Art Museum / Bridgeman Images

 

Odesa Fine Arts Museum

Odesa Fine Arts Museum is one of the principal art galleries of the city Odesa, founded in 1899. The museum occupies the Potocki Palace, itself a monument of early 19th century architecture. The former aristocratic classical palace built for the noble countess Naryshkina is notable for its grandiosity and elegance. Over 10,000 pieces of art make up this collection, including paintings by both Ukrainian and Russian artists of the late 19th and early 20th century. 
 

Armenia, 1957 (oil on canvas), Martiros Sarian (1880-1972) / Odessa Fine Arts Museum, Ukraine / © Odessa Art Museum / Bridgeman Images

 

The museum's collection covers all art forms: painting, drawing, sculpture and decorative arts. The exhibition space consists of 26 halls. Artworks cover the 16th - 17th centuries; there is also a collection of secular portraits belonging to the 17th century. Numerous works by Ivan Aivazovsky and Wasilly Kadinsky belong to the museum. The museum also works in affiliation with TURH - the local school of painting - a large collection of these works are often exhibited. The museum has a special collection of modern art devoted to Soviet art which explores the main developmental stages of socialist-realism.  

 

Lviv State Picture Gallery - all images

Odesa Fine Arts Museum - all images
 

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