Vladivostok’s main art gallery, a large stone structure, is located in the old part of the city, close to the train station, the city square, and the government administrative building.
The first exhibition room featured French prints from the 19th century. These depicted a variety of landscapes, cities, and people both in Russia and from around the world. A large etched portrait of Napoleon Bonaparte dominated this section of the gallery.
But of particular interest to me were the etchings of rural life in Russia. Several etchings of rural life were accompanied by a separate diagram with prints of single people and the type of clothes they wore and their role, whether it was a farmer or a woodcutter, etc.
The next section of the gallery was devoted to paintings. Most of these were made during the 19th and early 20th centuries. The overall layout was divided into five rooms of varying sizes. The two largest rooms featured some of the finest works on display in addition to the gallery’s lone sculpture of Cleopatra. The art here tended towards large pieces, over 100 x 150 cm in size. These were primarily landscapes, with water featuring typically as a central theme. The art from Rufin Sudkovsky and Lev Lagorio struck me as the best work in the gallery. As we moved through the remaining rooms, the pieces were typically of the smaller variety, and began to include more portraits and still life.
Another point of artistic interest is located in the building directly adjacent to the Primorye gallery. This building holds exhibitions of regional artists. During our visit, the showcase was for an artist by the name of Volcov, who began working in the late 1960s. His paintings were primarily focused on people and landscapes, especially associated with the sea. Also of interest to me were the numerous paintings of Ceylon (Sri Lanka). It should be noted that this gallery is completely free, so there is no reason not to stop in to take a look around.
While I have enjoyed Vladivostok’s galleries, I would still classify them collectively as rather small. Here you will not find room after room of world renowned paintings that could take days to truly appreciate. The Primorye State Art Gallery can easily be enjoyed in two or three hours, even including the extra gallery on Partizanskiy Prospekt and the local exhibition at 14 Aleutskaya. I would recommend visiting all three of them in the same day.
Primorye State Art Gallery
Aleyutskaya St. 12, Vladivostok
Student Ticket Cost: 350 Rubles
Jonathan Rainey majored in History and English at Francis Marion University in Florence, SC. While at Francis Marion, he was a member of Phi Alpha Theta, National History Honors Society and worked as a reporter for The Patriot, the university’s newspaper. Jonathan will be serving as an SRAS Home and Abroad Scholar in Vladivostok for the 2015-2016 school year. He is pictured here at Vladivostok’s annual celebration of “Tiger Day.”