Culture in Málaga: The Russian Art Museum

Málaga has long been appreciated as the cultural centre of the Costa del Sol, with an abundance of museums throughout the city. One not to be missed is the Russian Art Museum, located in the Old Tobacco Building, next to the city's Automobile Museum.

St. Petersburg: The Birthplace of the Russian Art Museum

The Russian Art Museum was opened in St. Petersburg in 1895 at the request of the late Tsar Nicholas II. It is the home of the largest collection of Russian artwork in the world.

At the time, the museum was inspired Russian czars from the late 18th century and has since built a collection of over 400,000 works of art covering each period, genre and trend in Russian art history. Portraits, landscapes, scenes of daily life and historical paintings from Medieval times to modern Europe complete the collection, representing Russia's rich history and culture.

The Old Tobacco Factory in Málaga, now the home of two of the city

There are very few countries in the world with such a vast number of national art pieces, and very few cities in the world display parts of the Russian Art Museum's collection. The very first city in Western Europe to display works from the museum was Málaga - a city renowned for culture and international art.

There are four palaces that represent the Russian Art Museum: The Mikhailovsky Palace, the Stróganov Palace, the Marble Palace and the St. Michael's Castle, each outstanding examples of Baroque and Neoclassicism in St. Petersburg.

The museum continued its legacy of housing artwork from their vast collection in historic buildings when the Russian Art Museum was brought to Málaga. In the city, we can find the museum housed in the Old Tobacco Factory (La Fábrica de Tabaco), built during the 1920s. The factory has been renovated in recent years to become a cultural centre in the city, housing both the Málaga Collection of the Russian Art Museum, and just next door is the famous Automobile Museum. This vast, 2300 square metre space will house a series of long-lasting exhibitions in Málaga, being rotated annually, covering the complex and fascinating history of Russian Art and its relationship with European culture. There will also be a number of temporary exhibitions at the museum.

The Russian Museum in Málaga

Aside from artwork, the museum also boasts an auditorium, three projection rooms, a children's workshop, a reading room with books about Russian art and a virtual museum that is connected to over one hundred other museums around the world. These facilities offer a monthly curriculum of lectures, films, reading programmes, classical music and folklore, allowing Malagueños a front-row seat into Russian history.

Current Exhibition: The Romanovs’ Dynasty

The Romanovs’ Dynasty exposition was opened on the 22nd February 2017 and will remain in the museum until February 2018.

The Russian Romanov Dynasty ruled throughout the country for over three centuries, spanning from 1613 to 1917. The dynasty is known for its outstanding achievements in politics, economics, science and culture.

Throughout the ruling, Russia went through a complex historical journey. The distinctive and underdeveloped Moscow tsardom closed off its existence from the Russian Empire, which occupied one-sixth of the globe's territory and was populated by over one hundred different ethnic groups.

Exterior of the Russian Art Museum

The Romanov Dynasty - one of the most royal houses in Russia - lead the development of further historic places throughout the country. These included the construction of palaces and churches, as well as contributing to Russian culture through the creation of museums and artistic educational institutions.

Russian architecture and visual art, which in developed in line with the rest of Europe throughout the early 18th Century, is often attributed to the Romanov Dynasty. In St Petersburg, the Russian capital; Moscow and other cities, Russian architects, painters and sculptors worked alongside their foreign counterparts from Italy, France and Germany, among others, who made the Russian Empire their second home.

The current collection in the museum represents the Romanov Dysnasty's history as leaders of the most important events in Russian history.

The collection in Málaga features over 200 art pieces, including paintings, sculptures and works of decorative and applied art. The artwork covers the extensive Romanov Dynasty history, from the 17th Century until the early 20th Century. The pieces have been arranged in chronological order to provide a visual representation of Russia during the Romanov era.

CostaSpace would like to give special thanks to Tatiana Osipova, who provided us with information of the museum for our latest blog post. Thank you, Tatiana!

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