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Kharkiv Fine Arts Museum


This mansion was designed by A. Beketov in 1913 and belonged to I. Ignatishchev, honourary citizen of Kharkiv, owner of the ‘Russia’ Brewery. The facade of the building is a marvellous example of a combination of artistic techniques of Renaissance and Modern — strict proportions consort with the unique decorative stucco moulding and ceramic elements. Elaborating the interiors, the designer applied the motifs of his favourite Ancient Greek classics. The house belonged to the Ignatishchevs for a short period of time: in 1917 it was sold to a businessman Levitsky; after the 1917 Revolution it was nationalised and in 1932 the collection of pictures by T.  Shevchenko was exhibited here. In 1944 the State Museum of Ukrainian Art (now Kharkiv Fine Arts Museum) was opened in the building.

The collection of the museum is considered to be one of the wealthiest in Ukraine. The history of this unique collection began in 1805 when V. Karazin purchased 2,477 graphics by Western European artists for Kahrkiv University. The collection included masterpieces by prominent artists of the 16th–18th centuries — A. D?rer, H. Goltzius, L. Giordano, A. van Dijk and others, which became the basis for the future collection of the museum. In the next years, the collection was broadened with paintings, graphics, pieces of decorative arts. During World War II, the most valuable exhibits were evacuated, the rest of the collection burned down together with the building of the museum.

In the post-war period the museum was revived, today it can boast over 23,000 exhibits of Western European, Ukrainian, Russian pictorial art and graphics of the 15th–20th centuries, unique articles created by masters of India and the Far East. Every year the museum organises about 40 exhibitions, lectures, evenings of music and poetry, meetings of creative unions and clubs.


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