Kiev Museum of Western and Oriental Art (otherwise known as the Museum of art named after Bogdan and Varvara Khanenko) is the most valuable and organized collection of foreign classic art in Ukraine. The exhibition is based on the private collection of two famous Ukrainian philanthropists – Khanenko family, who gave the collection to Kiev as a gift. Nowadays the museum consists of 20000 exhibits, which include not only items from the Khanenko’s collection, but also more recent items.
The museum is located in the old university centre of Kiev and occupies two buildings in Tereschenkovskaya street. The first building hosts an exhibition of Western European art, and the other one – Eastern European art. The first collection is organized according to territory and time. Most of the sections are devoted to the art of Renaissance, baroque and rococo. Here are some masterpieces by Diego Velazquez, Gentille Bellini, Juan de Zurbaran, Francesco Guardi, Alessandro Magnasco, Peter Paul Rubens, Pieter Bruegel junior, Jacques-Louis David, François Boucher, and Dirk Hals. A separate chapel hall hosts unique Byzantine icons from the VI-VII centuries. Among them there are four wax encaustic icons, which have immense international value. These masterpieces of icon art are the earliest Christian icons that survived until nowadays. The second hall is devoted to the largest collection of items that come from Eastern countries. There are a lot of pieces of art that belong to Islam and Buddhism religious, as well as Japan and China.
One of the most valuable exhibits in the museum is a casket where relics of a saint used to be stored. Bogdan Khanenko purchased it on a sale of duke Verdura’s collection. There is a legend that this casket used to belong to 3 Franciscan monks. An unknown artist painted it in the XIV in the manner of the father of Italian art Giotto. This antique item is very well preserved; it still has the original copper locks.
The interior of the museum is also noteworthy. Khanenko was the one who managed it, as he thought you can get the strongest impression from art only if you view it in the proper surroundings.
The museum is open every day except Mondays and Tuesdays from 10.30am to 5.30pm. The entrance fee does not exceed 10 UAH, and children, students and retired people are eligible for a discount. You can also order a personal, group, family or observation excursion in Ukrainian or English.
Address of Museum named after Khanenko: Tereschenkovskaya street, 15, 17.