Imagine your daily train commute to work; crowded, dull and boring. Now imagine an art gallery full of amazing paintings by Russian, Italian, German and British masters. Moscow metro has combined these two seemly unrelated places into what is being called an art gallery train.
The train is called the Aquarelle (Watercolour) Train; it is painted with colourful flowers and fruit on the outside while inside features art reproductions from famous Russian art galleries. This moving art exhibit has been held in the Metro each year since 2007 to mark the anniversary of the opening of the Moscow Metro on May 15, 1935.
Museum staff select the paintings to be displayed on the interior of the Aquarelle Train from world famous collections. The masterpieces are displayed on one side of each car instead of on seats. The train runs on Arbatsko-Pokrovskaya line of Moscow metro in the section between Partizanskaya and Park Pobedy stations daily.
This unusual train adds bright colours to the lives of Moscow metro passengers, particularly helpful during the cold winter months. It reminds them of the beauty that surrounds them which often goes unnoticed.
Tretyakov Gallery director, Irina Lebedeva believes that people who had the opportunity to see reproductions of famous works displayed for free on a metro train would be more likely to visit the museum and look at the originals.
The art gallery train is part of an art and culture project in Moscow which also includes a reading train, a poetry train and a retro train a replica of the first Moscow Metro train.
The Moscow reading train encourages Muscovites to read more. It is decorated with quotations and illustrations from works of Russian and foreign writers. The train has themed carriages to suit every taste. On the walls of the first carriage, you can read passages from Russian heroic epics and folk tales. The second carriage is dedicated to Russian classics; the third one is designed for those who love stories about nature and animals. The fourth carriage is made especially for children, the fifth one is aimed at teenagers and the sixth one is devoted to foreign literature.
The Poetry train takes a spin on the art gallery train to familiarise Moscow metro passengers poets from all over the world. The first display in 2010 presented the work of five Chilean poets and changed in 2011 to the works of eight Italian poets. Along with their poems, the train features the poet’s biographies and photographs.
Launched in May 2010 to commemorate the 75th anniversary of Moscow Metropolitan the retro train Sokolniki, was built and decorated to look like the first train of Moscow Metro. It is painted brown, has padded leather seats, yellow walls with decorations of the period and retro lamps.