Mr Prodi said the exposition displays the ties Russia and Europe had maintained for many years then and said such exhibitions would help promote these ties.
The exposition was also attended by Richard Wright, the EU representative in Russia, and Justin Harman, the ambassador of Ireland, which is holding the rotating chairmanship in the EU.
The exposition is featuring tens of pictures and drawings of the 18th to the 20th centuries by Russian artists who lived and worked in Europe. It includes Karl Bryulov's View of Fort Pico in Madeira. This landscape had for 150 years been in different private collections in Madeira, where the Russian artist underwent a medical treatment in 1849-1850. A Tretyakov Gallery employee found the picture in 2000 in the collection belonging to Margarida Lemos Gomes. This is a unique picture as it is the only oil painted landscape by Karl Bryulov, a prominent portrait and history painter. After lengthy negotiations Ms Lemos Gomes agreed to sell the landscape to Russia. The Tretyakov Gallery received relevant funds from the president's reserve fund.
The exposition is also offering a series of avant-garde paintings of the early 20th century by Valentin Serov, Alexei Yavlensky and "Russian Parisians" Natalia Goncharova and Nikolai Tarkhov.