The State Hermitage, museum of art and culture in Saint Petersburg, comprise nearly three million items.


The State Hermitage is a museum of art and culture in Saint Petersburg, Russia. One of the largest and oldest museums in the world, it was founded in 1764 by Catherine the Great and has been open to the public since 1852. Its collections, of which only a small part is on permanent display, comprise nearly three million items, including the largest collection of paintings in the world.

The collections occupy a large complex of six historic buildings along Palace Embankment, including the Winter Palace, a former residence of Russian emperors. Apart from them, the Menshikov Palace, Museum of Porcelain, Storage Facility at Staraya Derevnya and the eastern wing of the General Staff Building are also part of the museum. The museum has several exhibition centers abroad. The Hermitage is a federal state property. Since 1990, the director of the museum has been Mikhail Piotrovsky.

Of six buildings of the main museum complex, four, named the Winter Palace, Small Hermitage, Old Hermitage and New Hermitage, are partially open to the public. The other two are the Hermitage Theatre and the Reserve House. The entrance ticket for foreign tourists costs four-times as much as the fee paid by Russian citizens. However, the entrance is free of charge the first Thursday of every month for all visitors, and free daily for students and children. The museum is closed on Mondays. The entrance for individual visitors is located in the Winter Palace, accessible from the Courtyard.

Originally, the only building housing the collection was the Small Hermitage. Today, the Hermitage Museum encompasses many buildings on the Palace Embankment and its neighbourhoods. Apart from the Small Hermitage, the museum now also includes the Old Hermitage (also called Large Hermitage), the New Hermitage, the Hermitage Theatre, and the Winter Palace, the former main residence of the Russian tsars. In recent years, the Hermitage has expanded to the General Staff Building on the Palace Square in front of the Winter Palace, and the Menshikov Palace.

The collection of Classical Antiquities occupies most of the ground floor of the Old and New Hermitage buildings. The interiors of the ground floor were designed by German architect Leo von Klenze in the Greek revival style in the early 1850s, using painted polished stucco and columns of natural marble and granite. One of the largest and most notable interiors of the first floor is the Hall of Twenty Columns, divided into three parts by two rows of grey monolithic columns of Serdobol granite, intended for the display of Graeco-Etruscan vases. Its floor is made of a modern marble mosaic imitating ancient tradition, while the stucco walls and ceiling are covered in painting.

Mode Hermitage

Tuesday - Saturday 10.30 - 18.00 (ticket office open until 17.00);
Sunday and holidays 10.30 - 17.00 (ticket office open until 16.00);
Monday - closed.

In the summer and on weekends are urged to come to the opening or half an hour before. You can stand for hours in line, or just do not get to the museum, if not come to the opening.

How to get to the Hermitage

The Hermitage is located in the heart of St. Petersburg's Palace Square. The nearest metro station - "Admiralty". When you exit the subway, turn left and walk a few meters to Malaya
Morskaya Street. Turn right and walk a few meters from Nevsky Prospekt. You need to go left at the Nevsky Prospect and you will be on the Palace Square. Entrance to the Hermitage is located in the Palace Square.

Tickets to the Hermitage

for citizens of Russia and Belarus - 150 rubles;
for seniors, children and students (from any country) - free;
for foreign citizens (including the CIS) - 400 rubles;
photography and videography - 200 rubles (banned shooting using a tripod, shooting with the flash);

The Room of the Great Vase in the western wing features the 2.57 m (8.4 ft) high Kolyvan Vase, weighting 19 t (42,000 lb), made of jasper in 1843 and installed before the walls were erected. While the western wing was designed for exhibitions, the rooms on the ground floor in the eastern wing of the New Hermitage, now also hosting exhibitions, were originally intended for libraries. The floor of the Athena Room in the south-eastern corner of the building, one of the original libraries, is decorated with an authentic 4th-century mosaic excavated in an early Christian basilica in Chersonesos in 1854.

HERMITAGE (from the French. ermitage - retreat), one of the world's artistic, cultural and historical museums. Originated in 1764 as a private collection of Catherine II, opened to the public in 1852. The richest collection of monuments of primitive, ancient Eastern, Egyptian, ancient and medieval cultures, art, Western and Eastern Europe, archaeological and artistic monuments of Asia, monuments of Russian culture VIII-XIX centuries. Restoration department. Buildings of the Hermitage - Winter Palace (1754-62, architect Rastrelli), Small Hermitage (1764-67, architect J. Vallin de la Mothe), the Old Hermitage (1771-87, architect YM Felten) New Hermitage (1839-52, architect L. von Klenze), the Hermitage Theatre (1783-87, architect Kvarengi) - an outstanding architectural ensemble.

Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg (from the French. Ermitage - retreat), one of the world's artistic, cultural and historical museums. Originated in 1764 as a private collection of Catherine II, opened to the public in 1852. The richest collection of monuments of primitive, ancient Eastern, Egyptian, ancient and medieval cultures, art, Western and Eastern Europe, archaeological and artistic monuments of Asia, monuments of Russian culture ages 8-19. Restoration department.

Hermitage building - the Winter Palace (1754-1762, architect Rastrelli (see Bartholomew Rastrelli Varfolomeyevich)), the Small Hermitage (1764-1767, architect J. Vallin de la Mothe (see Vallin de la Mothe, Jean Baptiste Michel) ), the Old Hermitage (1771-1787, architect YM Felten (see Felten Yury Matveyevich)), the New Hermitage (1839-1852, architect Ludwig von Klenze (see Leo von Klenze)), the Hermitage Theatre (1783 - 1787, architect Giacomo Quarenghi (see Quarenghi Giacomo)) - an outstanding architectural ensemble. In 1754, Empress Elizabeth (see Elizabeth) approved the draft of a new residence, proposed by the leading architect of Russian Baroque Bartolomeo Rastrelli. Its construction lasted for eight years, which occurred in the reign of Elizabeth sunset and a brief reign of Peter III (see Peter F. III). Catherine II (see Catherine II) require changes to the original project, in accordance with the new architectural fashion - classical style (see classicism). In autumn 1763 Catherine II, returning from the coronation festivities from Moscow to St. Petersburg, became mistress of the Winter Palace.

By order of the Empress was built building of Small and Large Hermitage, Hermitage Theatre building was erected - formed one unique ensemble of palace buildings, which now occupies the State Hermitage Museum.

Catherine II becomes art collections, which paved the future museum Hermitage, which she considered to be the founder. In 1764 the collection was purchased, collected Berlin merchant IE Gotzkowski for Prussian King Frederick II (see Friedrich II the Great). The collection includes 225 paintings, mainly Flemish and Dutch, along with several works by Italian artists of the 17th century. Among the best in the collection - "Portrait of a young man with a glove in his hand" F. Hulse (see Halsey France) and "revelers" J. Wall (see WALL Yang).

In 1765-66 years. at the request of the Empress, next to the front seat - the Winter Palace, the architect JM Felten elevated two-storey building. Baroque features of the outgoing (see BAROQUE) and emerging classical organic and natural appearance together in this building. Later, in 1767-69 years., Architect J. Vallin de la Mothe built on the banks of the Neva River Pavilion for private relaxation with main hall, several living rooms and conservatory. The building, designed in the style of early classicism, characterized by strict proportion commensurate with architectural articulation of the Winter Palace. Created in the late 18th century. architectural ensemble was named the Small Hermitage. Art collections, housed in the longitudinal galleries, initiated collection of the Imperial Museum.

In the summer of 1769 came to St. Petersburg bought from the heirs of Mr. Bruhl collection, containing a set of prints and drawings, over 600 paintings by Dutch, French, Flemish, Italian and German schools. Among the masterpieces of the collection - Rembrandt (see Rembrandt) "Portrait of a scientist", "Portrait of an Old Man in Red", Rubens (see RUBENS Peter Paul) "Perseus and Andromeda", Nicolas Poussin (see Poussin Nicolas) "Descent from the Cross" and Watteau (see Antoine Watteau) "Embarrassing Proposal", as well as landscapes brush Ruisdael (see Jacob van Ruisdael). With this collection in the Hermitage received a series of views of Dresden and Pirna, performed to order the collector by the Italian artist Bellotto (see Bernardo Bellotto). Italian paintings of special interest web Tiepolo (see Tiepolo Giovanni Battista) "Patron is Augustus Liberal Arts," written around 1745.

In 1771-87 years. commissioned by Catherine II to house the collections and library of the palace on the banks of the Neva River near the Small Hermitage building was built, it transcends its size and is named "The Great Hermitage." By architect YM Felten three-story structure to blend in existing palace complex. In 1792.Dzh. Quarenghi has attached to the Large Hermitage building, which housed the Loggia of Raphael - close to the original repetition of the famous gallery of the papal palace at the Vatican. Transitional gallery connected the new building to the North Pavilion of the Small Hermitage, and arch over the Winter Canal - the theater. In 1772 in Paris the purchase of the famous art gallery owned by deceased for two years before A. Crozier. Enriched the museum collection such masterpieces as "The Holy Family" by Raphael (see Raphael), "Judith" Giorgione (See Giorgione), "Danae" by Titian (Tiziano see), "Danae" and "The Holy Family" by Rembrandt, "Lamentation Christ "Veronese (Paolo Veronese see). Among the works of Rubens, were purchased by "Bacchus" and "Portrait of a maid," sketches for the Luxembourg Palace in Paris. Van Dijk (see Anthony van Dyck) was presented six portraits, including a self-portrait. In addition to paintings of Italian, Dutch and Flemish schools, Crozat collection was exceptionally rich in paintings by French masters 17-18 cc.: Lenena (see Le Nain), Poussin, Mignard, Larzhilera (see LARZHILER Nicola), Watteau (see Antoine Watteau) Lancret (see Nicolas Lancret) Chardin (see Jean-Baptiste-Simeon Chardin.)

The acquisition in 1779 of the famous gallery in England Walpole (198 pictures) has become one of the most important events in the history of the Hermitage. Meeting paved the Hermitage collection of Italian painting of the 17th century. - With it came a picture of Giordano "Bacchus" and "The Forge of Vulcan," G. Reni (see Guido Reni) "The argument of the Church Fathers," S. Rosa (see ROSE Salvatore) "The Prodigal Son" and "Democritus and Protagoras." exclusively enriched the collection of Flemish painting, which took a few exceptions from this point on its present appearance. Then came "Landscape with the drivers of stones", "Feast at Simon the Pharisee," oil sketches by Rubens triumphal arches, many of Van Dyck (see Anthony van Dyck) - "Madonna with Partridges" and portraits of the London period, four huge "shop" and "Bird Concert" Snyders (see Snijders France). As a member of the Hermitage acquired masterpieces of other schools - "The Holy Family" and "Moses incising the Rock" by Poussin, the "Immaculate Conception" and "Adoration of the Shepherds" Murillo (see Murillo Bartolome Esteban), "The Sacrifice of Abraham" by Rembrandt. In 1781 the collection was purchased by Count Baudouin, numbering 119 paintings mainly Dutch and Flemish schools. It included nine paintings by Rembrandt, including "Portrait of an old man", "Portrait of an old woman," "Portrait of Jeremias de Decker", "Girl trying on earrings" as well as paintings by Van Dyck, Ostade (see Ostade) Ruysdael, Teniers the Younger (see . Teniers David).

In 1787, construction was completed the Hermitage Theatre, designed by architect G. Quarenghi (see Quarenghi Giacomo). Building, harmony and balance with different architectural masses, is an excellent example of Russian classicism of the late 18th century. According to his project was created by 1795 Grand Throne (St George's) Hall, which was destroyed by fire in 1837.

The entry of Russian troops into Paris in 1815, was marked by the acquisition of the meeting, enriched Hermitage near first-class works from the gallery Malmezonskogo Palace. The most valuable acquisitions Hermitage include "The Holy Family" A. del Sarto (see Andrea del Sarto), two with the art - "The Descent from the Cross" by Rembrandt and Rubens, a series of paintings by Claude Lorrain (see Claude Lorrain), dedicated to the time of day "A glass of lemonade" Terborch (see Terborch Gerard), "Breakfast" Metsu (see Gabriel Metsu), "Potter Farm." Hermitage collection enrich the work of Italian, Dutch, Flemish schools. Of great importance for the Hermitage was the acquisition of four statues by Canova (see Antonio Canova), "Hebe," "Paris," "Dancer" and "Cupid and Psyche."

In 1826 the project Rossi (see Karl Ivanovich Rossi) was a gallery in 1812. On the walls of the gallery in five rows were placed 332 half-length portrait of generals - the heroes of the War of 1812. By 1833 had been completed and Field Marshal Peter Halls project Montferrand (see August Montferrand Avgustovich). Evening, December 17, 1837 in the Winter Palace there was a large fire, which resulted in errors due to the design of architect Montferrand tragic consequences. Unprecedented fire completely destroyed the magnificent royal residence finish, erasing an entire era in the history of the palace. Almost immediately after the fire began restoration work entrusted to architect VP Stasov (see Stas Vasily Petrovich). By 1841 most of the Hermitage has been restored to its original form.

In 1850, Venice was purchased paintings from the Barbarigo Palace, where in the late 16th century. Titian died (see Titian). At the time of this purchase from the Hermitage collection has been three great Venetian painting "Danae" and "Portrait of a young woman" (a collection of Crozat, 1772), "Flight into Egypt" (a collection of Bruhl, 1769). Were added 5 more works, including masterpieces - "Penitent Magdalene", "Saint Sebastian".

In 1842-51 years. was erected in the historic New Hermitage. For its construction Nicholas I (see Nikolai I Pavlovich), invited German architect Ludwig von Klenze (see Klenze Leo von), who has spearheaded the European museum architecture. The project L. von Klenze was entrusted to architect VP Stasov and NE Efimov. The interiors of the museum are preserved to this day in the form of almost private.

In 1858, the Pavilion was completed design of the hall by Alexander Stakenschneider (see Shtakenshnejdera Andrey), and in 1860 they were created ceremonial interiors Large Hermitage. Purchased in 1861 by the Marquis Campana collection enriched antique collections of the Hermitage. The museum's collection was supplemented most interesting monuments of Etruscan, Italic and Attic vases and bronzes, including the famous "Queen of the vases." Together with the antiquities were purchased frescoes, coming out of the studio of Raphael. In 1864 Count Litta, owner of Milan familial art gallery, which enjoyed popularity in Italy, called the Hermitage with the offer to sell it. When we reached the SA Gideons (see Gideon's Stepan Aleksandrovich), director of the Imperial Hermitage, selected from the gallery 4 pictures. The most valuable of them was the "Madonna and Child" by Leonardo da Vinci (see Leonardo da Vinci), called since then: "Madonna Litta". In 1870 the count was purchased Conestabile "Conestabile Madonna" by Raphael.

In 1884 it was acquired by the collection of Russian diplomat Alexander Bazilevsky. It was beautifully presented monuments of early Christian and Byzantine art, ornament Romanesque and Gothic era, the product of ivory 13-14 cc., Rhine and Limoges enamels (see Limoges enamels) 12-16 cc., Venetian (see Venetian glass ) and the German glass, Italian majolica (see majolica), French, and Spanish-Moorish faience. The purchase of this collection can be considered one of the most successful acquisitions of entire assembly, made the Hermitage for the time in its history. In 1885 he was transferred to the Hermitage collection Arsenal from Tsarskoye Selo - a rich collection of arms and armor, which arose in the first quarter of the 19th century.

In 1914, the Hermitage collection graced the "Madonna with a Flower" ("Benois Madonna"), Leonardo da Vinci. The First World War interrupted the normal life of the museum. In August of values, including the Treasure Gallery, was taken to Moscow. However, the art gallery remained in place.

In March 1917, after the February Revolution, the general meeting of the Hermitage, it was decided to continue the work at the museum in full, but do not let the public temporarily. October 30, 1917 the People's Commissar for Education in the Soviet government Lunacharsky (see LUNACHARSKY Anatoly) announced the Winter Palace and the Hermitage public museums. In 1919 he opened the first exhibition of paintings of the other paintings in Petrograd and exposure "funeral cult of ancient Egypt." By November 1920, the process of the return of evacuees to Moscow artistic values. January 2, 1921 was opened to the public halls of the Art Gallery, and the following year another exhibition. January 11, 1920 a Museum of the October Revolution, created in the Winter Palace by the decision of the Petrograd Soviet. There are materials on the history of the liberation movement in Russia and the revolutionary events of 1917. Simultaneously opened for viewing living quarters of the palace. October Revolution as a museum at the same time as the Kunsthistorisches Museum, Winter Palace lasted until the beginning of World War II. In 1922 he was transferred to the Hermitage Kushelevskaya gallery - a wonderful collection of European painting, created by generations of family Bezborodko and passed in 1862 by the will of its owner NA Bezborodko Academy of Arts. So, with the arrival of this collection, which were paintings of major artists such as Delacroix (see DELACROIX Euge`ne), Rousseau (see Henri Rousseau (The officer)), Dupre' (see Dupre Jules), Diaz (see Narcisse DIAZ Virzhil), Dean (see Alexander DEAN Gabrielle), Corot (see KORO Camille), Troyon (see Constant Troyon), Millet (see MILLE Jean Franc,ois) was filled gap - the lack of European painting of the 19th century. Gradually transferred to the Hermitage excellent collection of European and Oriental art from the School of Technical Drawing A. Stieglitz.

1930. have been a difficult period in the history of the Art Gallery. Hermitage became the main source of making money for the overall government policy and the impact from the sale of works of art. Unjustified from an economic and a political point of view, the sale of art treasures in the years 1928-33. dealt a severe and irreparable damage to the museum. Hermitage of the property attached to send to European auctions: in antiques has been allocated in 2880 paintings, 350 of which is the product of great artistic value, and 59 - the masterpieces of world importance, and only some of them, not finding a buyer came back, but 48 famous masterpiece ever left the walls of the museum. From 1932 to maintain the prestige of the union republics, and hundreds of pictures of applied art handed down from the Hermitage in art galleries and museums of Ukraine, Belarus, the Caucasus and the provincial cities of Russia.

When the Great Patriotic War, more than 1 million pieces of art were evacuated to Sverdlovsk. November 8, 1945 the restored rooms of the museum reopened to the public, but the restoration of the Hermitage, which got about 20 shells, lasted for many years.

The biggest event in the life of the Hermitage was broadcast in 1948 316 paintings from the closed before the Second World War in the new Museum of Western European art. The museum's collections have been divided between the Hermitage and the Museum of Fine Arts named after AS Pushkin in Moscow. It was mostly stuff from the collections of the two great Moscow collectors - S. Shchukin (see SHUKIN Sergei) and Morozov (see Ivan Abramovich Morozov). The Hermitage received first-class picture quality Western European artists of the late 19th - early 20th century.: Monet (Claude Monet, see), O. Renoir (see Auguste Renoir), P. Cezanne (see Paul Cezanne), P. Gaugin (see Paul Gauguin), Markov (see Mark Albert), P. Bonnard (see Pierre Bonnard), Henri Matisse (see Henri MATISSE), Picasso (Pablo Picasso see). In the division of the collections of the Moscow Museum of Hermitage director IAOrbeli (see Joseph ORBELI Abgarovich) selected paintings, plays a fundamental role in the history of the 20th century. "Red Room", "Dance", "Music", "Family Portrait" by Matisse , "Two Sisters", "Dance of the Veils", "Three Women" by Picasso, Bonnard's triptych "The Mediterranean".

Now in the Hermitage are:

1. Collection of monuments of ancient and early medieval cultures, with nearly 2 million units and is one of the most luxurious and largest in Russia.

2. Collection of antiquities, with over 106 thousand monuments of culture and art of ancient Greece, ancient Italy and Rome, ancient colonies of the North Black Sea coast.

3. Collection of Western European art, with around 600 thousand exhibits and is one of the best in the world (collection reflects all the stages of the development of art from the Middle Ages to the present day, in the collection of works by outstanding artists are concentrated in England, Germany, Holland, Spain, Italy, Flanders, France and other Western European countries).

4. Arsenal collection, with more than 15 thousand items of Russian, Western European and Oriental arms and giving a comprehensive picture of the development of art and weapons of the early Middle Ages to the early 20th century. By the number and breadth of selection of exhibits it is the largest in Russia and one of the best in the world.

5. About 180 thousand exhibits of eastern culture. Among them are paintings, sculpture, applied art, including jewelry, objects of worship and life of ancient people, samples of writing. Exhibition, occupying 50 rooms, the collections of items from Ancient Egypt, Mesopotamia, Central Asia, the Caucasus, Byzantium, the Middle and Far East and India.

6. Russian Department Hermitage collection, numbering more than 300 thousand items, reflects ancient history of Russia.

7. Numismatic Collection. The main part of the collection consists of coins: Ancient (about 120 thousand), Eastern (over 220 million), Russian (300 million) and West (360, 000). The collection also includes commemorative coin (about 75 thousand), orders, decorations and medals, badges (about 50 thousand) and a variety sphragistic materials.

8. Treasure Gallery, which consists of two sections: the first exhibition of "Gold Room (Eurasia, Antique Black Sea, East)" is about 1.5 thousand gold objects (c 7. BC. Oe. At 19.), The main idea of the second exhibition - "Diamond pantry" - is to show the development of the jewelry over the centuries of human history - from the 3rd millennium BC. e. until the early 20th century.

The collection of Classical Antiquities feature Greek artefacts from the 3rd millennium – 5th century BC, Ancient Greek pottery, items from the Greek cities of the North Pontic Greek colonies, Hellenistic sculpture and jewellery, including engraved gems and cameos, such as the famous Gonzaga Cameo, Italic art from the 9th to 2nd century BC, Roman marble and bronze sculpture and applied art from the 1st century BC - 4th century AD, including copies of Classical and Hellenistic Greek sculptures. One of the highlights of the collection is the Tauride Venus, which, according to latest research, is an original Hellenistic Greek sculpture rather than a Roman copy as it was thought before There are, however, only a few pieces of authentic Classical Greek sculpture and sepulchral monuments.

On the ground floor in the western wing of the Winter Palace the collections of prehistoric artifacts and the culture and art of the Caucasus are located, as well as the second treasure gallery. The prehistoric artifacts date from the Paleolithic to the Iron Age and were excavated all over Russia and other parts of the former Soviet Union and Russian Empire. Among them is a renowned collection of the art and culture of nomadic tribes of the Altai from Pazyryk and Bashadar sites, including the world's oldest surviving knotted pile carpet and a well-preserved wooden chariot, both from the 4th–3rd centuries BC. The Caucasian exhibition includes a collection of Urartu artifacts from Armenia and Eastern Turkey. Many of them were excavated at Teishebaini under the supervision of Boris Piotrovsky, former director of the Hermitage Museum.

Four small rooms on the ground floor, enclosed in the middle of the New Hermitage between the room displaying Classical Antiquities, comprise the first treasure gallery, featuring western jewellery from the 4th millennium BC to the early 20th century AD. The second treasure gallery, located on the ground floor in the southwest corner of the Winter Palace, features jewellery from the Pontic steppes, Caucasus and Asia, in particular Scythian and Sarmatian gold. Visitors may only visit the treasure galleries as part of a guided tour. The Pavilion Hall

Pavilion Hall, designed by Andrei Stakenschneider in 1858, occupies the first floor of the Northern Pavilion in the Small Hermitage. It features the 18th-century golden Peacock Clock by James Cox and a collection of mosaics. The floor of the hall is adorned with a 19th-century imitation of an ancient Roman mosaic.

Two galleries spanning the west side of the Small Hermitage from the Northern to Southern Pavilion house an exhibition of Western European decorative and applied art from the 12th to 15th century and the fine art of the Low Countries from the 15th and 16th centuries.

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