From the late 1860s Pavel Tretyakov began collecting and commissioning portraits of all the great figures in the cultural life of Russia. It was a fortunate coincidence that the era fron 1867 to 1914 was a remarkably creative one in literature, the theater, and music, as well as being the golden age of Russian portraiture. It enabled Tretyakov to put together a striking collection of masterpieces, which he later presented to the city of Moscow; today it is the State Tretyakov Museum. Now the Tretyakov Museum is exchanging for a time key portraits with Britain’s National Portrait Gallery. The Russians will be getting portraits of Shakespeare, Oliver Cromwell, Jerome K. Jerome, and Charles Dickens, and London has received Tolstoy, Tchaikovsky, Turgenev, and Chekhov. It is curious that Britain is including portraits of her greatest scientists Newton and Darwin, but Russia has not provided London with images of Lobachevsky,...


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