The Art Gallery is housed in one of the buildings of the former Jesuit College, which is the architectural monument of the 18th century. The total square of the museum is 900 sq. m. The collections of the religious applied arts of the 12th-13th centuries, the icon-paintings of the 18th-20th centuries, the secular portrait painting of the 18th century, and the Belarusian fine arts of the 20th century are presented in the layout of the gallery. The Art Gallery also disposes two showrooms for presenting exchangeable exhibitions and the art salon.
Polotsk Picture Gallery was opened on February 20, 1981 as a branch of the Museum of Local Lore. In 1985 it became a part of Polotsk Historical Cultural Museum-Reserve.
From 1981 to 1991 the Art Gallery was placed in the building of Epiphany Cathedral, the architectural monument of the 18th century, which had formerly been the Cathedral of the Epiphany Friary, founded in the 16th century.
In 1992, when the building of Epiphany Cathedral was returned to Polotsk diocese, the Art Gallery went on with its work in the building of the Museum of Belarusian Book-Printing.
Since 2002 the Art Gallery as the branch of Polotsk National Historical and Cultural Museum-Reserve has been placed in one of the buildings of the former Jesuit College, opened in 1581 by the order of the king of Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth Stephan Batoriy. After 1784 the construction of the new corps of the college was headed by Gabriel Gruber - a famous European architect, mathematician, physicist, astronomer, theologist. According to his project a special three-storeyed corp for the museum was build. Alongside with the historical and scientific collections, a picture gallery was situated in this museum. Among the collections of the gallery there were canvases by Salvator Rosa from Verone, Shimon Chehovich from Warsaw, Ignatiy Dorati, Avgustin Nedvetskiy’s and Malahovski’s works, the copies of Raphael’s, Titian’s and Rubens’s canvases. The frescoes by G. Gruber himself decorated the walls of the gallery.
Today the Art Gallery comprises: a permanent exhibition, several halls for temporary exhibitions and an art salon.
The permanent exhibition presents the development of the Belarussian fine arts, starting with the section "The mural painting of the 12th-19th centuries from Saint Tranfiguration Church (12th century) of Polotsk Saviour Euphrosyne Monastery”.
The section of icon-painting of the 18th-19th centuries, apart from the former religious items, includes six icons of the 18th century of the local icon-painting school from the iconostasis of Sophia Cathedral, the collection of religious copper casting of the 19th century and the items of archaeology of the 12th century.
The section ”The history of Belarus of the 20th century” , traces the stages of the development of the Belarusian art in the chronological order, from 1935 and acquaints with the significant painters’ names.
The collections are constantly growing as archaeological excavations are carried out in the city, the mural painting of one of the most ancient churches of Belarus, Saviour Tranfiguration Church of the 12th century, is being opened. A lot of research into the historic part of Polotsk is carried out together with the acquisition of some works of Belarusian painters.
The address and working hours.
The gallery works: from 10a.m to 6p.m daily, except Friday
The address: The Republic of Belarus. Vitebsk region, Polotsk, str. Streletskaya, 4A-4
Tel: 8(0214)42-36-32, 42-41-35, 42-55-47