The Museum Painting collection is not large in volume - about 1500 units, but it is a great historical and artistic interest, as its formation is connected with the Pavlovsk and its first owners appearance. The collection began during the travel of Grand Prince Paul Petrovich and his wife Maria Feodorovna in Europe in 1781-1782, under the name of Count and Countess Severny. Becoming the Imperial residence, Pavlovsk was supplemented with a number of paintings from the collection of Catherine II. Most of the paintings placed in the Art gallery.
Dowager Empress Maria Feodorovna continued purchasing the works of art, and in 1806 the first catalogue was made , and the picture got their numbers. In 1827-1828 the years shortly before the death of Maria Feodorovna, Pavel Mettenleiter - the preserver and restorer of paintings, the son of Jacob Mettenleiter, court painter of Emperor Paul I, wrote the manuscript catalogue, which includes more than 500 paintings.
In 1848, Vasily Grigorovich - the Conference-Secretary of the Academy of Arts, made a detailed Pavlovsk Palace handwritten catalogue of paintings. The new handwritten catalogue was compiled in 1925 by V. P. Zubov in the period when the Pavlovsk Palace after the October revolution, became a state Museum.
In the 1930s, the part of the painting collections was transferred to the Hermitage, and another part was selected for sale abroad. The collection significantly thinned out and changed its composition, that is reflected in the General inventory of the year 1938. In 1941 a large part of painting collection was evacuated, and after the revival of the Pavlovsk Palace Museum paintings have returned to their historical places. After the merger of the Central storehouse of Museum funds with Pavlovsk Museum, the Museum was given the paintings, that filled the loss incurred by the Museum in 1920-1940-ies.
Currently the art collection of the Pavlovsk Palace Museum includes works by Western European artists of 16th -19th centuries: Austrian painting, English painting, Dutch painting, Spanish painting, Italian painting, German painting, Flemish painting, French painting, etc. The particular interest is the Russian school of painting- mainly portrait and landscape painting of 18th