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Sergei Ivanovich Shchukin

industrialist , patron of the arts , art collector

Sergei Ivanovich Shchukin, Industrialist, art collector, patron of the arts.


Shchukin, Sergei Ivanovich was born in 1876.


The third of 6 sons of a well-known Moscow textile industrialist, from Old Believer background. One of the Russian merchant princes, who by their wealth and enthusiasm for the arts made the flowering of Russian culture in the early 20th century possible. One of the first people in Russia to appreciate the work of the modem French artists.

Became a major patron and collector of Matisse, Cezanne, Picasso and Gaugin. 38 Matisses hung on the walls of his Grand Salon in Moscow in the former Trubeskoi Palace, opened to the public, 1908. By 1914, owned the largest private collection of Impressionists in the world (221 paintings).

Relying only on his own instinct, searched out the work of rejected artists, boldly buying and seeking no advice. Turned his home into a public gallery and received anyone who was interested in seeing the work. Art authorities from many European capitals used to come to him in order to study the artists.

Also a founder of the Institute of Philosophy at Moscow University. His collection was nationalized after the October Revolution 1917, but the treasure remained inaccessible to the public for a long time in the vaults of the Pushkin Museum and other galleries, during the heyday of Stalinist obscurantism. Emigrated after the Bolshevik take-over.