The Tretyakov gallery is the biggest collection of Russian paintings in Moscow . The main old building was reconstructed between 1902 and 1903 to a design by Victor Vasnetsov .
The gallery itself was founded by Pavel Tretyakov, a Moscow merchant who spent most of his life gathering treasures of Russian painting. Pavel Tretyakov began collection from the fine works of Russian artists in 1856. He bought his first painting at the age of 24. From that time his collection constantly increased . By 1892, when Tretyakov had acquired 1200 paintings and several hundred sculptures , he presented the whole collection to the city of Moscow .