Pavel Tretyakov

Tchaikovsky Research
Pavel Tretyakov (1832-1898), in a 1901 portrait by Ilya Repin

Russian businessman, art collector and philanthropist (b. 15/27 December 1832 in Moscow; d. 4/16 December 1898 in Moscow), born Pavel Mikhaylovich Tretyakov (Павел Михайлович Третьяков).

At the age of eighteen Tretyakov inherited his father's textile business, and together with other businessmen he helped to found the Moscow merchant bank, amassing a considerable fortune. He began purchasing artworks in 1854 with the intent of making them accessible to the general public, and soon amassed a considerable collection that outgrew his home (which had to be extended on numerous occasions). In 1893, the Tretiakov Gallery was officially opened in a new building in Moscow.

In his capacity of director of the Moscow branch of the Russian Musical Society, he arranged numerous charity concerts, in which Tchaikovsky sometimes participated. There were also family connections — Tretyakov's sister Yelizaveta (1835–1870) was the mother-in-law of the composer's brother Anatoly, and Tretyakov's daughter Vera (1866–1940) was the wife of Tchaikovsky's friend Aleksandr Ziloti.

Correspondence with Tchaikovsky

8 letters from Tchaikovsky to Pavel Tretyakov have survived, dating from 1882 to 1890, all of which have been translated into English on this website:

One from Pavel Tretyakov to Tchaikovsky, dating from 18/30 August 1890, is preserved in the Tchaikovsky State Memorial Musical Museum-Reserve at Klin (a4, No. 4318).


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