AT THE MUSEUM
The other day I went to see our City Museum. I went together with some comrades - it was an excursion.
I had seen it before but I wanted to see again all the fine things one can observe there.
The Museum is divided into four sections: the Picture Gallery, the History Department, the Natural Science Department, the Agricultural Department.
First of all we went to the Picture Gallery.
There are a lot of fine pictures there: portraits, genre, landscapes, seascapes and still life.
Some belong to the brush of eminent painters.
We liked most of them tremendously.
There are also some sculptures, but they are rather few.
After that I went to the History Department.
The curator himself showed us round.
He gave us all the necessary explanations.
What a lot of wonderful things we saw there!
We saw the scale-model of an ancient town, lots of ancient costumes, ancient arms, some very interesting pottery dating back to the first century of our era.
It was all very well displayed.
The Natural Science Department is also very interesting. It principally features the natural conditions of our region.
We saw a number of stuffed animals, a collection of various minerals and stones as well as many pictures showing the life of wild and domestic animals and plants.
But the Agricultural Department was the most interesting. Here we saw the latest developments introduced on the collective and state farms of our region. A number of exhibits displayed harvester-combines, improved gang-ploughs and other agricultural machines used in all-out mechanization. Our region is taking the lead in raising the yield of crops and it was interesting to see by what methods this is achieved.
Our excursion to the museum gave us much to think about.
It was, indeed, a great pleasure to see it.
- I can very well be your guide1 through the Picture Gallery. I have been here some ten times already.
- You don't say so! As for myself I know the Gallery but very superficially and in general, I must confess, painting is not a very strong point with me. I enjoy it, but I am sorry I can't say I know much about it.
- Well, I'll try and help you2 the best I can.
- What shall we begin with?
- Well, we'll begin with Repin. In this museum there are two or three magnificent portraits belonging to the brush of Repin. We'll begin with them.
- How life-like this portrait is! That is what I should call3 true realism! It's as if you saw the very man! Whose portrait is it?
- It's just the portrait of an old man. And note with what mastery every detail is given. The impression of the whole, seen at a distance, is just amazing!
- But what are these landscapes? Tell me something about them!
- They belong to the brush of Levitan.
- And I also see here some seascapes. The hue of the waves is rendered with extraordinary faithfulness.
- They were painted by Aivasovsky. But I should also like to show you some still life pictures.
- I don't think I enjoy still life pictures so much.
- You must have a special taste for them. But look now the painter has rendered such commonplace things as meat, vegetables and fruit.
- I am afraid if we stop here long, we won't have time ог ^e XIX century and the moderns.
- Perhaps we had better4 see them another time. But before we leave now I want you by all means to have a ook at these engravings as well as some early water.
- They are fine indeed. But, frankly speaking, I prefer oils. And where are modern paintings displayed?
- They are on the first floor. But really if you are in a hurry we will have to stop at this and put off the continuation of our visit till another time.
- So we must. Thank you ever so much for showing me round.
- You are welcome. It was no trouble at all.
WORDS AND EXPRESSIONS