For this project, 20 of the most "high-profile" works in the history of Russian art were selected: having first appeared in public and found themselves in the orbit of discussion in the professional community, the paintings provoked not only debate and discussion, but also rejection, rejection, even harassment, up to the point of censorship bans on display, removal from exhibitions and removal from catalogues.
Throughout his career as a collector, Tretyakov acquired controversial objects that shocked the public and provoked discussion in the art world. He fearlessly purchased works that did not find approval among people involved in art, who enjoyed authority. Of the 20 canvases included in the project, three were painted during the collector's lifetime but were not purchased by Tretyakov. For example, the paintings Neizvestnaya by Kramskoi and Princess Gresa by Vrubel are presented at the exhibition as works rejected, including by Tretyakov, in order to reveal the complexity of artistic life at that time.
Today's viewer cannot easily imagine what impermissible things their contemporaries found in the canvases that have become the pride of the collection. What could have irritated Surikov's Boyarynya Morozova or Kuindzhi's Birch Grove, what angered Vassnetsov's After the Bashing.. Vasnetsov, why they removed Perov's "Rural Procession at Easter" from the exhibition and banned the painting "Ivan the Terrible and His Son Ivan..." Repin. The main task of the project is to find answers to these questions.