Renamed the Pushkin Museum in 1937, the State Museum of Fine Arts in Moscow boasts of a huge collection of over 670,000 works. But its most extraordinary treasures come from two private collections, confiscated after the October Revolution of 1918: the Shchukin and Morozov collections, which Lenin decreed should be shared with the Hermitage in St. Petersburg.
Businessman Sergei Shchukin acquired his first Monet in 1897 in Paris (where he died in 1936). His friend, Matisse, specially created The Dance for him. Eager to share his collection of paintings by Cézanne, Van Gogh, Gauguin, and Picasso (around 100 paintings from the Picasso's Cubist, blue, and rose periods), he opened his Moscow mansion on Sundays.
Ivan Morozov, who made his fortune in the textile industry, collected Picasso, Cézanne, Van Gogh, fauvists like Matisse, and Post-Impressionists like‘Les Nabis' artists Maurice Denis and Aristide Maillol, both of whom helped decorate the collector's music room.
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