Polotsk Art Gallery
Belarus, Polock

The art gallery is located in one of the buildings of the former Jesuit collegium, an architectural monument of the 18th century. The total area of the museum is 900 m2. The gallery exhibits collections of cult applied art of the 12th – 19th centuries, icon paintings of the 18th – 20th centuries, secular portraiture of the 18th century, and fine art of Belarus of the 20th century. The art gallery has two exhibition halls for displaying interchangeable exhibitions and an art salon. Polotsk City Art Gallery was opened on February 20, 1981 as a branch of the Museum of Local Lore. In 1985, it became part of the Polotsk Historical and Cultural Museum-Reserve. From 1981 to 1991, the Picture Gallery was located in the building of the Epiphany Cathedral, an architectural monument of the 18th century, which used to be the cathedral of the Epiphany Monastery, founded in the 16th century. In 1992, in connection with the transfer of the building of the Epiphany Cathedral of the Polotsk diocese, the activities of the Picture Gallery continued in the building of the Museum of Belarusian Printing.
Since 2002, the Art Gallery, as a branch of the National Polotsk Historical and Cultural Museum-Reserve, has been housed in one of the buildings of the former Jesuit collegium, opened in 1581 at the direction of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth Stephen Batory. After 1784, the construction of new collegium buildings was led by Gabriel Gruber, a well-known European architect, mathematician, physicist, astronomer, and theologian. According to his project, in 1788 a special three-story building for the museum was built. Among the collections of historical and natural science plans, this museum housed an art gallery, in the collection of which were canvases by Salvator Rosa from Verona, Warsaw artist Shimon Chekhovich, works by Ignatius Dorati, Augustine Nedvecki, Malakhovsky and others, copies from paintings by Raphael, Titian, Rubens. The gallery walls were decorated with frescoes made by G. Gruber himself. Currently, the Art Gallery hosts: a permanent exhibition, several halls for interchangeable exhibitions, and an Art Salon. The permanent exhibition introduces the development of the fine arts of Belarus, starting with the section “Murals of the 12th – 19th centuries of the Transfiguration Church of the 12th century of the Polotsk Spaso-Evfrosinyevsky Convent” The iconography section of the 18th – 19th centuries, in addition to common religious objects, includes six 18th-century icons of the local icon-painting school from the iconostasis of St. Sophia Cathedral, a collection of 19th-century cult copper casting, and 12th-century archeology items. The section “The Art of Belarus of the 20th Century” in chronological order, since 1935, traces the stages of the development of Belarusian art and introduces significant names of artists. Collections are constantly replenished as archaeological excavations are carried out in the city, the murals of one of the oldest temples in Belarus, the Transfiguration Church of the 12th century are uncovered, the Polotchina’s historical past is studied and searched, and works of Belarusian artists are acquired.

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Museum of the History of Architecture of St. Sophia Cathedral in Polotsk
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Museum of Belarusian Printing
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