The Tretyakov Gallery continues to acquaint visitors with the rich content of its storehouses. The museum presents a unique exhibition "Pictures of Russian History". The exposition acquaints viewers with the works of historical painters of the second half of XIX - early XX century. Smirnova, G.S. Sedova, K.E. Makovsky, K.V. Lebedeva, A.D. Litovchenko, S.V. Ivanova, A.P. Ryabushkina. Sculptural works of MM. Antokolsky, M.O. Mikeshina, S.O. Tselinsky complements the exhibition.
The themes and plots of the works shown reflect primarily the history of pre-Petrine Rus - the era, in the understanding of the painters presented at the exhibition, the uncomplicated, true Russian civilization, which later became a kind of myth. Artists for their work sought to find historical characters, embodying the essential features of the national character.
One of the central exhibits of the exhibition was Claudia Lebedev's canvas "The removal of the bell. Martha Posadnitsa. Destruction of the Novgorod Veche. " Written under the impression of the picture of Surikov "Boyarynya Morozova", for the first time "Marfa Posadnitsa" was presented at the 19th exhibition of the Wanderers, and since then has not been exhibited. Now, after a long break and the completion of complex restoration works, it is exhibited for the first time in the Tretyakov Gallery.
The historical painting of the late XIX - early XX century focused not on the drama of the plot "from history", but on the beauty of objects of everyday life and architecture of the past. Historical genre at that time was considered the basis of the academic system of training artists, and the mandatory task (program) on this topic was approved by the leadership of the Academy of Arts. Among the exhibits of the exhibition are two works made in the framework of such programs for historical painting. This painting by Constantine Makovsky "Agents of Dmitry Pretender kill the son of Boris Godunov" and the painting by Vasily Smirnov "Prince Michael Chernigovsky before the Batu bid."