ⓘ Museum of Western and Oriental Art in Kiev, also known as the Bogdan and Varvara Khanenko Museum of Art is the largest collection of foreign art in Ukraine. Dur ..

Museum of Western and Oriental Art

ⓘ Museum of Western and Oriental Art

Museum of Western and Oriental Art in Kiev, also known as the Bogdan and Varvara Khanenko Museum of Art is the largest collection of foreign art in Ukraine.

During the Soviet times, the museum ranked the third in the USSR by the value and size of its collection after The Hermitage in Saint Petersburg and the Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts in Moscow. Currently, the Museum is well-known both Ukraine-wide and abroad for its unique collection of paintings, sculptures, etchings, decorative arts of Western Europe, Middle and Far East as well as the Antiquity.

The incomplete list of its holdings includes the West European paintings, Egyptian and Classical antiquity, Italian Maiolica, Meissen porcelain, Persian Ceramics and Bronze sculpture, Japanese xylography and tsubas, Chinese paintings and Chinese porcelain.


1. Building

Established on September 21, 1887 at number 15 on Tereshchenkivska Street the building is constructed in the style of Renaissance Revival architecture. The building commissioned by Bogdan and Varvara Khanenko displays three towers on its facade and the family coat of arms. The recently restored interior of the building represents various historic epochs and styles.


2. History

Bogdan Khanenko was a famous patron of arts, and during his forty-year collection activity he purchased works from art auctions in Vienna, Berlin, Paris, and Madrid. His most valuable purchases resulted from his trips to Italy where he obtained approximately 100 pieces through Rome and Florence auctions.

Shortly after death of Bogdan Khanenko on December 15, 1918 his widow Varvara gave away the entire collection to the city of Kiev as a charitable gift. On June 23, 1919 the collection gained a status of the state museum.


3. Collection

Throughout the years the collection has increased from 1.250 to over 17.000 artworks, totaling over 25.000 exhibits. It is currently considered to be the largest collection of foreign art in Ukraine. The museum contains a collection of Byzantine icons and the Middle Ages Orthodox applied art pieces. Famous masterpieces include a Portrait of Infanta Margareta by Diego Velazquez. Other valuable pieces in the collection include paintings of Gentile Bellini, Jacob Jordaens, Jean-Baptiste Greuze, Francisco Zurbaran, Luis de Morales, Claudio Coello, Claude Joseph Vernet, and Peter Paul Rubens among many others.

Additional pieces include Egyptian statues and bronze sculptures; antique terracotta and glassware; Roman and Greek sculptures, and other Byzantine exhibits along with ivory, textiles, icons and jewelry.

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