The Moscow Kremlin Museums’ collection of paintings, connected with the life of the Kremlin for more than three centuries, is of great historical and cultural value.

The collections spans the period from the later Middle Ages to the Soviet period. Art works from the Kremlin’s cathedrals, monasteries and royal palaces, demonstrating religious painting and portraits of the hierarchs of the Russian Orthodox Church, give the idea of the variety of genres in the collection. The museum funds include paintings by West-European artists, which replenished the collection in the Soviet period. At the same time, the collection of paintings was enriched by battle scenes by the German military painter Albrecht Adam, showing the episodes of Napoleon's Army retreat from Russia in 1812. Paintings with historical content are an interesting part of the collection. N.E. Sverchkov’s painting "Tsar Alexey Mikhailovich Visiting Troops in 1664" from 1864 and the "Tsar Ivan Vasilievich the Terrible Leaving for Pilgrimage" of 1875 depict scenes of solemn ceremonies that were customary at the tsar’s court in the 16th and 17th centuries. The appearance of the Kremlin’s parts that have not survived to the present day is preserved in the early 19th-century paintings made in the workshop of the famous Russian artist F.Ya. Alexeyev. Among the Kremlin’s images of that time, the works of the beginning of the 19th century stand out with their high artistic quality, for example M.N. Vorobiev’s "View of the Kremlin from the Moskvoretsky Bridge", I.K. Aivazovsky’s "The 1812 Fire in Moscow" and the "Panorama of the Kremlin and the Cathedral of Christ the Saviour" commemorating the victory in the 1812 Patriotic war.

A series of six large-scale canvases glorifying the deeds of Saint Prince Alexander Nevsky is a treasure of the Russian monumental art of the mid-19th century. It was created by artist F.A. Moller for the Alexander Hall of the Grand Kremlin Palace by order of Emperor Alexander II. The canvases returned to the Hall after its reconstruction in 1999.

The core of the painting collection is ceremonial representative portraits of rulers, which embody the history of the formation of national statehood. The most rare and valuable among them is the "Equestrian Portrait of Tsar Alexey Mikhailovich" of the 17th century and a lifetime "Portrait of Peter the Great", executed by German artist J.G. Tannauer, who served in the Russian army. This section of the Museums’ collection, which been enriched mainly by the acquisitions from the Imperial Hermitage, fully represents the main line of the development and existence of ceremonial representative portraits of the monarchs in the Russian culture of the 17th and early 20th centuries. The portraits of royalty painted especially for the museum by order of the commander-in-chief of the Kremlin expedition, Prince N.B. Yusupov, stand out among the dynastic series in the Armoury Chamber that have survived to the present day. Of particular ideological significance is the genealogical series of images of two dynasties – the Rurikids and the Romanovs, unparalleled in other museum collections and unique in its personal composition. It was placed at the base of the dome in the Crown Hall of the Armoury Chamber in the mid-19th century by order of Emperor Nicholas I, who compared it to the "Temple of Glory" of the Russian monarchy.

Explore the collection of the Moscow Kremlin Museums online