(b Moscow, Dec 27, 1832; d Moscow, Dec 16, 1898).
Russian patron, collector, museum founder and curator. A textile magnate, he was one of the first merchants to patronize the arts in Russia. In 1851, after his marriage to Vera Mamontova, the niece of the industrialist Savva Mamontov, the founder of the artistic colony at Abramtsevo, he bought a large mansion in Moscow and began to collect art. Initially he bought western European engravings and 17th-century Dutch paintings, but after seeing the Russian works in Illarion Pryanishnikov’s collection in St Petersburg, he switched to Russian art. He collected icons and 18th- and 19th-century works, as well as, most importantly, becoming the main patron of the group that became known as Wanderers. He appreciated both the Academy of Art in St Petersburg and its rebels. Less concerned with social and moral issues than Vladimir Stasov, who frequently sought his patronage for the Wanderers, his outlook was essentially ethnocentric Slavophile. Diluting the Wanderers’ original instinct to reform, he favoured realist landscapes and religious paintings with exclusively devotional content. He commissioned much of their most important work (e.g. ...