The Hermitage is one the largest and important museums in the world. It is situated in St. Petesburg, Russia. The Museum complex consists of five buildings. The most famous of these buildings is the Winter Palace. So, the Hermitage consists of the Winter Palace, the Small Hermitage, the Great Hermitage, the Hermitage theatre and the New Hermitage. |
The basis of the Museum was the private collection of Catherine II. In 1764 she received 225 paintings collected by the Berlin merchant I. E. Gockowski for the Prussian king. For the first time in the Russian capital there were so many works of the greatest painters: Rubens, Titian, Bellotto, Raphael, Rembrandt, etc.
The Small Hermitage was built on the bank of the Neva river for the storage of this collection. Nowadays the Small Hermitage is one of the modern buildings of the Museum complex. The building consisted of the Northern and Southern pavilions. Greenhouse and Hanging garden were placed inside Small Hermitage. The walls of the halls were decorated with paintings. Here the Empress liked to relax in a circle of confidants. There were concerts, performances, literary evenings in the Small Hermitage.
But the collection of paintings was rapidly expanded. That’s why the new building – The Great Hermitage – was built in 1787. The collection was enriched by carved stones, valuable libraries, antique coins and jewelry. Also the Hermitage Theatre was built in 1783. Here performances were played. Theatre dinners and Christmas masquerades were carried out for selected people.
The Emperor Nicolas I, Catherine’s grandson, decided to make the Museum available to the public. He ordered to construct a new building for museum. And in 1852 the New Hermitage was opened for people. A collection of antiquities was on the first floor and a luxurious art gallery war on the second floor. A rich collection of ancient Egyptian, Oriental, ancient and medieval monuments of European art were presented here. Also paintings of Russian painters and values obtained as a result of archaeological excavations were kept in the Museum.
The main building of the Hermitage is the Winter Palace.
The entrance to the Museum is here. The building is in the Baroque style, the facades are decorated with columns, an abundance of moulded parts, vases and statues, which is typical for the Baroque style of that period. Triangular pediment over the Central entrance is decorated with bronze sculptures of Neptune and Amphitrite. The Winter Palace has a rich history.
State rooms of the Winter Palace are admired you by the splendor and uniqueness of the interiors.
The White Hall of the Winter Palace is very attractive for tourists.
Peter hall (or Small throne) and St George hall (Large throne) are throne halls in the Winter Palace. The first is dedicated to the memory of Peter I. In the decoration of the hall was used a monogram of the Emperor, coats of arms and crowns. George hall is usually used for important ceremonies and receptions.
The building of the Winter Palace and Hermitage are connected by a Hanging Garden. It is located on the second floor of the Small Hermitage and consists of a variety of flowering plants: trees, shrubs, flowers of the most varied sorts. Hanging Garden connects the Northern and Southern pavilions of the Small Hermitage. The North hall is the pavilion hall. Here you can see the famous Peacock clock, made in London in the 1770s and presented to the Empress Catherine II.
There are Raphael rooms, representing a gallery with copies of Raphael‘s frescoes in the Great Hermitage Museum.
Works by masters of the Renaissance: Leonardo da Vinci, Raphael, Giorgione, Titian are presented in the halls on the second floor. Venetian painting and sculpture are also widely represented here.
In the New Hertmitage there are halls, representing Italian art, some halls with Raphael’s paintings, hall of Rubens, the halls of the Spanish and Dutch painting (the Tent hall). Also in the New Hermitage you can see “Black square” by Kazimir Malevich.
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