The art gallery is located in a red-brick building originally known as Naryshkin’s reading hall. The construction of the hall was well undeway according to the modern technologies. It was sponsored by Tambov Maecenas Emmanuel Naryshkin. The art gallery takes two floors – the second one is for temporary exhibitions. The collection of Tambov Art Gallery is considered to be one of the best ones in provincial Russia. The art pieces from the gallery were once taken to Moscow Tretyakov Gallery to be displayed in Corps of Engineers.
The gallery is proud to have a rich collection of portraits painted by Levitsky, Borovikovsky Rokotov, as well as the works of such painters as Karl Bryullov, Vasily Tropinin, Ivan Aivazovsky and Ivan Shyshkin. One can also find here the art pieces by Gerasimov, Savrasov, Serov, and Korovin. Other famous surnames are Benois, Somov, Falk.
The main part of the pieces of Western European art came from Count Stroganov’s and scientist Chicherin’s collections. The earliest in the gallery works of Italian art date back to the 16th century. The gem of the collection is the only art piece of Dutch school “Madonna and Child” painted by the outstanding master of Northern Renaissance, Jan Van Scorel. The painting used to be a left leaf of a diptych. The right leaf depicting a man is kept in Berlin museum. The West-European collection of art is truly impressive.