The Tretyakov Gallery originated in 1856 when the Moscow merchant Pavel Mikhaylovich Tretyakov began collecting exclusively Russian works of art. Tretyakov presented his first collection of almost 2,000 exhibits already in 1867. In 1892 Tretyakov bequeathed the gallery to the city of Moscow . The gallery building was built in 1902 - 1904. An expansion followed.
The Tretyakov Gallery contains only collections of Russian artworks and exhibits closely connected with Russian art. There are more than 150,000 paintings, statues and graphics in the gallery. The Tretyakov Gallery owns paintings by I.I.Levitan and the precious icon called Trinity whose author is A.Rublev, the most famous Russian painter of icons and frescos. The artworks from the 12th-17th century represent especially religion-related themes. What should not be missed out is the collection of Russian realism paintings from the second half of the 19th century.