The museum was initially named after Alexander the 3rd during whose reign it was built at the end of the 19 th, but after the October Revolution was renamed after Pushkin. After the Revolution, French Impressionist paintings belonging to two great collectors Sergei Shchukin and Ivan Morozov were nationalised by the State and later divided between the Hermitage and Pushkin Art Museum. Today the Museum boasts one of world's largest collections of ancient, classical and Western European art with over half a million works.

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