The State Russian Museum is the world's largest museum of Russian art. The collection of the Russian Museum numbers some 400000 works and covers the entire history of Russian fine art from the tenth century to the present day. It reflects virtually every form and genre of art in Russia, including a unique collection of Old Russian icons. Among them are the famous "Angel Gold Hair" of the early 12th century and works by old masters Rublev and Ushakov.
The collection of the museum is housed in the former palace constructed in 1819–1925 for Grand Duke Michael, the youngest son of Emperor Paul I.
In 1896 Nicolas II turned this palace into a museum to commemorate his father, Alexander III.
Its collection of icons is outstanding, it includes the early 12th century "Angel Gold Hair" and many works by old masters — Rublev and Ushakov.
17th- and 18th-century paintings are well represented here, but of more importance is the collection of works by 19th-century painters (Aivazovsky, Repin, Serov, and many others). The Soviet period is represented by some fine examples of early 20th-century Russian art, including Kandinsky and Malevich.