Mordovian Erzia Museum of Visual Arts

Stanislav Krasilnikov/TASS
After leaving the church complex, walk towards Kommunisticheskaya Ulitsa (previously Vtoraya Pokrovskaya Ulitsa) and take a ten-minute stroll to the Mordovian Erzia Museum of Visual Arts. This houses a collection of works by Mordovian sculptor Stepan Erzia (1876–1959) and painter Fedot Sychkov (1870–1958). Both artists were born in what is now the Republic of Mordovia. Before Erzia became a famous sculptor, exhibiting works in Venice, Rome, Milan, Nice and Paris, he worked in various icon-painting studios and painted churches in the Volga region.

You will need at least an hour to look through the museum’s collection, which contains more than 1,500 items, including works by contemporary Mordovian artists. The museum has an interesting display of Orthodox icons dating from the end of eighteenth to the beginning of the twentieth century. A collection of nineteenth century drawings includes etchings of paintings by well-known Russian artists – Ivan Shishkin, Ilya Repin and Nikolai Ge.