People reflect their lives in art. Real, live art appeals to the heart and mind of every person, to their feelings and ideals, it proclaims life. Art is truthful only when it serves life, only when the artist hopes to arouse a warm response in the heart of a person. That was the case in the days of Giotto and Raphael, that was the case in the subsequent stages of the world’s artistic development, and that was the truthful relationship of art and life in the days of Renato Guttuso and Rockwell Kent. Art belongs to people.
The history of art from the Renaissance to our days confirms this. It is close contact with the life of the nation that gives artists’ work its power.
One can see masterpieces of old and modern art in various picture galleries and museums. There is nearly a thousand museums in Russia, many of them are world famous. The largest collection of Russian art is the Tretyakov Art Gallery in Moscow. It is a real treasury of canvases by prominent Russian painters. It contains priceless collections of icons, 17-20th century paintings and sculptures and contemporary Russian paintings and sculpture.
One of the largest and most remarkable museums of the world is the Hermitage, more than three hundred halls housing its exhibitions of articles of the greatest artistic value. The museum’s collections now comprise works of various periods in the development of art, from ancient times up to the present day. Famous painters from different countries are represented there.
The Russian Museum in St. Petersburg is another picture gallery which contains the richest collection of Russian paintings of 18-19th centuries and the best collection of Russian sculpture.
In the Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts in Moscow the art of the Ancient East and Western Europe is represented. This museum possesses a unique collection of copies of the finest sculptures of the old time. It is in this museum that many famous foreign expositions of fine art are displayed almost every year.